Christian Drug Rehab

Primary Care Physicians Prescribing Opioids

opioidsIn 2016, doctors prescribed enough opioids to give every adult in America a bottleful. Such statistics are unsettling, saying the least, considering our country lost 64,000 (42,000 opioid-related) citizens to overdose in 2016. The need for curtailing prescribing practices is higher than ever, yet doctors seem to operate business as usual. There is a clear and present danger associated with giving every patient in pain a prescription for opioids. One can expect that the death toll in 2017 will surpass the year before.

In America, people can access opiates through various channels. Prescription opioids are the number one killer, but heroin and fentanyl are catching up. It’s worth noting that many of today’s heroin users began the path they are on with drugs like OxyContin. Efforts to encourage physicians to exercise caution seem to have fallen mostly on deaf ears. Prescription drug monitoring programs are widely underutilized. Doctors ignore the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prescribing recommendations. It’s easy to argue that too many doctors fail to grasp the gravity of the situation.

However, it’s unfair to say that all doctors aren’t doing their part to curb the American opioid addiction epidemic. New research indicates that M.D.s in emergency rooms are doing their part to reduce use disorder and overdose rates.

Primary Care Physicians Prescribing Opioids

Most people should trust their doctor when it comes to health and wellbeing; your physician underwent significant schooling to get where they are today. We all should expect that when we ask for assistance from our primary care physician (PCP), they will help us. Unfortunately, if your health malady is pain, then there is a good chance that your doctor will put you at significant risk.

A study from researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) shows that while E.R. doctors prescribe opioids more infrequently, primary care doctors have not, Science Daily reports. Between 1996 and 2012, emergency departments’ opioid prescribing dropped from 7.4 percent to 4.4 percent. During the same period, PCPs writing prescriptions for opioids rose from 71 percent to 83 percent.

“From the 1990s to at least 2013, we [doctors] had convinced ourselves that prescribing opioids was a fine thing to do for patients in chronic pain,” said Michael Menchine, a study co-author and an associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “It is hard to look in the mirror years later and say 2 million people might be dependent on opioids because of this sort of practice.”

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Anyone working a program of recovery who sees their doctor must exercise caution. What your doctor prescribes could mean relapse or spell the end of recovery. If you are in pain, make sure you discuss alternative forms of pain management before accepting any narcotic. If opioids are required, make sure you have someone in your support network monitor your use of the drugs.

Christians Drug Rehab is a faith-based addiction treatment program that infuses the teachings of Christ into evidence-based modalities of recovery. We can help you, or a loved one break the cycle of addiction, reconnect with His teachings, and begin the life-changing journey of recovery.