The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a new guideline for doctors regarding the prescribing practices of narcotic painkillers. The number of prescriptions for opioid narcotics has quadrupled since 1999, which has been a major factor in the current painkiller problem we’re facing in Florida and around the country.
It is estimated that about 20% of patients who see doctors for pain symptoms (excluding cancer) receive a prescription for an opioid. The CDC is urging doctors to become more aware of their prescribing habits and of non-narcotic treatments that may be much more beneficial for patients.
“More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses, we must act now. Overprescribing opioids—largely for chronic pain—is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic. The guideline will give physicians and patients the information they need to make more informed decisions about treatment,” said the director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden.
Other guidelines issued by the CDC included a plea for doctors to closely monitor patients who have been prescribed opioids, and to be sure that the lowest effective dosage levels be used. In addition to more education for the doctors, the patients also need to be more informed about taking these drugs.
Dr. Debra Houry of the CDC commented about the new recommendations by saying, “Doctors want to help patients in pain and are worried about opioid misuse and addiction. This guideline will help equip them with the knowledge and guidance needed to talk with their patients about how to manage pain in the safest, most effective manner.”
If you have a loved one who has become dependent on painkillers or any other drug, contact us today to find out more about our successful recovery program and learn how we can help.