The medical profession must play a lead role in reversing the opioid epidemic that, far too often, has started from a prescription pad, according to Steven J. Stack, MD, president of the American Medical Association. Stack made his comments in a blog posted on the Huffington Post website.
“As a profession that places patient well-being as our highest priority, we must accept responsibility to re-examine prescribing practices,” Stack wrote. “We must begin by preventing our patients from becoming addicted to opioids in the first place. We must work with federal and private health insurers to enable access to multidisciplinary treatment programs for patients with pain and expand access for medication-assisted treatment for those with opioid use disorders.”
Stack called on all physicians to take the following steps to reverse the nation’s opioid overdose and death epidemic:
“As physicians, we are on the front lines of an opioid epidemic that is crippling communities across the country,” Stack wrote. “We must accept and embrace our professional responsibility to treat our patients’ pain without worsening the current crisis. These are actions we must take as physicians individually and collectively to do our part to end this epidemic.”
Source: Huffington Post; May 11, 2016.