Physician leaders fight back against the opioid epidemic

Physicians are making gains in the fight against the opioid epidemic, according to a recent report released by the American Medical Association. These gains are largely a result of the concerted efforts of physician leaders to prescribe opioids less frequently and to utilize state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) more frequently. Additionally, a large number of physicians are seeking training and certification in treating patients who are addicted to opioids.

The report cites a decrease in opioid prescriptions across the country for the fifth consecutive year, as well as a 121% increase in the number of times physicians utilized PDMP databases. Furthermore, in 2017, more than half a million healthcare professionals sought additional education and/or training in pain management, substance abuse disorders, and related areas.

While progress has been made, more than 115 people every day die from opioid-related overdoses in the United States, emphasizing the need for even more action. As physician leaders continue to work with patients to manage opioid overuse, it is hoped that the stigma associated with addiction will decrease, allowing those addicted to opioids to receive the treatment they need.

Source: American Medical Association