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The Opioid Crisis: The best intentions that created a national epidemic

Posted by Liza Szelkowski, PA-C on Apr 19, 2018 9:47:00 AM

In a little over 200 years, opioids went from being a promising new discovery to a killer whose fingers reached into every walk of life, killing unsuspecting victims from all socioeconomic classes.  Morphine was first created from opium in 1804, and in 2008 drug overdoses, primarily caused by opioids, surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of accidental death in the United States.  The saddest part of this whole story is that we, as prescribers, are largely responsible for this crisis reaching epidemic proportions.  That’s not to say we have done it intentionally.  As healthcare practitioners, we innately want to ease people’s suffering.  That need is paired with modern day society’s demand of a quick fix.  Patients often want a pill that will make them feel better, and we are sometimes all too willing to oblige.  When the prescription runs out, and refills are denied, patients may seek illegal means of obtaining a continued supply of pills. 

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Topics: opioids