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Prescriptions, Overdoses and Deaths

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Prescriptions, Overdoses and Deaths

Prescription Drug Addiction on Rise Due to Pain Clinics
Prescription Drug Addiction on Rise Due to Pain Clinics
Thomas Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control, issued a statement in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He stated, “Overdoses involving prescription painkillers are at epidemic levels and now kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.” The JAMA article further describes that drug prescriptions in 2010 were four times greater than in 1999 and the overdose and death rate quadrupled between 1999 and 2008. Pain clinics seem to be the trend for pain management and the jump in pain clinics and prescriptions, prescription drug addiction, overdoses and deaths are correlated. Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP’s) have been put in place to help decrease doctor shopping by those who are abusing prescription pain medications. There is a shared individual electronic record of patients on a database which all medical doctors have access to. In addition to the drug monitoring programs, it is proposed that it would be better if doctors prescribed a three day supply of pain medication rather than a 30 day supply. Doctors are encouraged to consider alternative pain management strategies such as physical therapy, non-narcotic medications and treating related mood disorders. While it may be easier to prescribe medications for symptoms, doctors should consider alternative treatments and become more aware of the disease of addiction.


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