Medical Organizations Form Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse

doctor writing prescription 7-30-15

A group of 27 major medication organizations has formed a task force to reduce opioid abuse. The groups are urging physicians to register for and use state-based prescription drug monitoring programs when considering whether to prescribe opioids to patients.

The task force also hopes to improve doctors’ education on safe, effective and evidence-based prescribing, according to HealthDay. The initiative includes a new web page with information about drug monitoring programs.

The initiative is headed by the American Medical Association (AMA). “We have joined together as part of this special task force because we collectively believe that it is our responsibility to work together to provide a clear road map that will help bring an end to this public health epidemic,” AMA Board Chair-Elect Dr. Patrice Harris said in a news release. According to the AMA, 44 Americans die every day from overdoses of opioids.

Other medical organizations that are part of the task force include the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Dental Association.

Harris said the initiative aims to reduce opioid abuse while helping patients who are dealing with physical pain. “America’s patients who live with acute and chronic pain deserve compassionate, high-quality and personalized care, and we will do everything we can to create a health care response that ensures they live longer, fuller and productive lives,” she said.

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    Carol Venditto

    September 1, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    It is of critical importance that the medical community broaden the scope of non-opioid use in pain relief. When needed, the medication must be prescribed responsibly. Chronic and/or severe pain alters the mood and makes it much harder to enter into and remain in recovery. Recovery should not be about constant suffering, therefore, treatments beyond opioid medication must be developed and worked into the individual’s recovery plan. I am not fond of MAT, but recognize the need to safely detox patients and to deal with intense cravings. All those on any MAT must have drug free options at any time in the treatment process, but we cannot afford to deny the fact that some medications will help- when prescribed and monitored properly. All hands on deck are needed in this horrendous epidemic.

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    Mike Gimbel

    August 4, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    WE DON’T NEED ANYMORE TASK FORCES… WHAT WE NEED IS MORE DRUG FREE, RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT. TREATMENT IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR OF AN ADDICT AND ITS WHAT WE HAVE THE LEAST OF IN THE UNITED STATES.

    WE NEED TO TAKE THE CLOSED MILITARY BASES AND TURN THEM INTO DRUG/ALCOHOL/MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT FACILITIES SO THAT WE CAN STOP THIS PROBLEM AT THE ROOT AND PUT A BANDAID ON IT, AGAIN….

    NEEDLE EXCHANGE, NARCAN, METHADONE…. ONLY LETS THE ADDICT BELEIVE THEY CAN KEEP USING WITH OUT ANY CONSEQUENCE AND AS A FORMER ADDICT I KNOW THE OUTCOME. CONTINUED USE….. MORE TREATMENT IS THE ANSWER, NOT TASK FORCES.

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    AddictionMyth

    July 30, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Cracking down on opiate prescriptions will only make the problem worse. Why? Because kids are getting addicted off a single pill (even half a pill) and there’s no you can prevent loose pills without daily universal full cavity searches. Secondly, people out there are suffering from chronic pain, and when doctors cut them off they either are forced into the heroin market or they will sometimes kill themselves. The death is attributed to ‘addiction’ even though it was caused by malpractice.

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