Doctors Speaks On US opioid crisis


When 55-year-old Sheila Bartels left her doctor’s office in Oklahoma, she had a prescription for 510 painkillers. She died the same day of an overdose.
Her doctor, Regan Nichols, is now facing five second-degree murder charges one for each patient who overdosed after she prescribed them opioid drugs, such as Oxycontin prescriptions that can lead to addiction.
“Doctors bear enormous responsibility for the opioid crisis,” said David Clark, a professor of anesthesiology at Stanford University who worked on a government-sponsored panel that studied the crisis, and recommended new training and guidelines for health care providers and regulators.
“We didn’t have (a crisis) until doctors became enamored with what they imagined to be the potential for opioids in controlling chronic pain,” Clark told News Agent.
An estimated two million Americans are addicted to opioid drugs many forced to buy pills illegally when prescriptions run out. Some, in desperation, resort to heroin and synthetic opioids smuggled into the US by Mexican drug cartels.
Ninety people die every day in the United States from opioid overdoses.
More than 180,000 have died since 1999, including pop icon Prince, who passed away in April 2016 at age 57 after an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller. Doctors in the United States prescribe more opioids than in any other country — enough to medicate every American adult.


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