Doctors and nurse practitioners are in a unique position to impact the American opioid epidemic for the better. While it could easily be argued that those who prescribe addictive narcotics had a major role in creating the problem we see today, they also have a responsibility and the power to alter their prescribing practices – reducing patient risks of fatal overdoses. Fortunately, a number of doctors now recognize the dangers of prescription narcotics, and they understand importance of screening patients for substance use disorders and that making some simple changes in how addictive drugs are prescribed and dispensed.
New research conducted at the School of Public Health and the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University found that the growing concern about prescription drug abuse epidemic is possibly changing the way health providers prescribe, Forbes reports. The findings were published in the Pain Physician Journal.
The researchers involved in the study surveyed almost 6,000 Indiana:
- Nurse Practitioners
- Physician Assistants
The findings indicated that in the last few years around 33 percent of respondents altered their prescribing practices, according to the article. The researchers found that the majority of respondents significantly decreased the frequency with which they prescribed addictive narcotics.
The study did not probe into the reasons why health care providers were concerned, but study author Dr. Eric Wright, a professor with the appointments in Health Management & Policy and Sociology at Georgia State thinks that the “growing public alarm about the rising rate of fatal overdoses involving prescription drugs, especially opioids, and policymakers’ increased critical scrutiny of drug prescribing practices are behind our respondents’ concerns.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with prescription opioid addiction, please contact Cottonwood Tucson. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and begin the journey of recovery. Withdrawing from long term opioid use can be especially difficult, we have a medical detox facility on site where we closely monitor patients and manage physical distress of withdrawal, guarding against potentially injurious withdrawal symptoms.