Maybe a doctor in San Diego has found a way to think about doctors before prescribing painkillers.
Opioid overdoses increased by 30 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After all, what we know now is an amazing statistic. We know that many people become addicted after trying out opioid painkillers and then falling in love with them. We know that then many of these people will be taking heroin, which is cheaper. And we know that heroin can be even more lethal now that fentanyl is so often used.
The solution seems at least partially obvious: Doctors should be more careful when prescribing opioid analgesics.
But that did not really happen. According to a report by the CDC, the amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 continued to be three times higher than in 1999.
This reality made the San Diego ambulance Roneet Lev think. If doctors were notified if their patients died of an overdose, would this cause them to change the way they prescribe opioids?
But Lev did not just think. She was co-author of a study. The study looked at the effects of letters to doctors, informing them about the death of their patients by overdose. Half of a group of 861 doctors received such a letter. The other half is not.
The physicians who received letters reduced the rate at which they prescribed opioid analgesics by between 6 and 13 percent compared to those who did not receive letters.
The effect of doctors prescribing less painkillers
Some have questioned whether there might be unintended consequences when doctors prescribe less painkillers. Will people who are already addicted simply switch to illegal street drugs like heroin?
The authors of the study do not believe that. Their study showed that doctors did not stop taking prescriptions for existing patients abruptly. Instead, they began to limit the number of new opioids.
There are two ways out of the opioid crisis. The first is to drastically reduce the number of newbies who become dependent on painkillers. The second is to provide a way out for the millions of people already suffering from opioid addiction.
Opioid Addiction Help and The Raleigh House
At Raleigh House, we pursue a holistic approach to recovery. That means we do not just get heroin or painkillers out of your system. The actual work helps you to recover mentally, mentally, mentally and socially.
We investigate – and treat – the residents also on concomitant conditions such as depression or posttraumatic stress disorder. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the prescription painkiller or heroin treatment program at The Raleigh House.