Doctors Are So Ill-Trained To Fight Opioid Crisis Experts Say It’s Like ‘Trying To Fight World War II With Only Coast Guard’
There has been little addiction training in medical schools across the country, but a decades-long push may be changing that.
The New York Times:
Most Doctors Are Ill-Equipped To Deal With The Opioid Epidemic. Few Medical Schools Teach Addiction.
To the medical students, the patient was a conundrum. According to his chart, he had residual pain from a leg injury sustained while working on a train track. Now he wanted an opioid stronger than the Percocet he’d been prescribed. So why did his urine test positive for two other drugs — cocaine and hydromorphone, a powerful opioid that doctors had not ordered? (Hoffman, 9/10)
In other news on the crisis —
The New York Times:
Senate Poised To Pass Bill To Stop Flow Of Opioids Through The Mail
The Senate appears poised this week to pass a bill intended to shut a window through which fentanyl and other opioids pour into the United States from China through the mail, as lawmakers search desperately for ways to combat an epidemic affecting people of all ages and income levels across the country. The measure, part of a bipartisan package of legislation to fight the opioid crisis, requires the United States Postal Service to collect electronic information on merchandise arriving in this country, so customs inspectors can screen parcels for fentanyl and other contraband. (Pear, 9/10)
Nearly 30% Of All Opioid Prescriptions Lack Medical Explanation
How large a role do doctors play in the opioid crisis? Nearly 30% of all opioids prescribed in US clinics or doctors' offices lack a documented reason -- such as severe back pain -- to justify a script for these addictive drugs, new research finds. In total, opioids were prescribed in almost 809 million outpatient visits over a 10-year period, with 66.4% of these prescriptions intended to treat non-cancer pain and 5.1% for cancer-related pain, according to a study published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. (Scutti, 9/10)