• Safi Bello

Overcoming Opioids: Easing an epidemic 1 doctor at a time

Associated Press ------ Even doctors can be addicted to opioids, in a way: It’s hard to stop prescribing them. Melissa Jones is on a mission to break doctors of their habit, and in the process try to turn the tide of the painkiller epidemic that has engulfed 2 million Americans. It was in doctors’ offices where the epidemic began, and it’s in doctors’ offices where it must be fought. So Jones is using some of the same tactics pharmaceutical sales forces used to push their potent pills into communities — this time, to get them out. She drives 100 miles a day to visit doctors across western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, where prescription painkillers and their illicit cousin, heroin, killed more than 600 people last year. Bearing a smile, educational pamphlets and sometimes sandwiches, she is working to help doctors stick to new national prescribing guidelines, give them tips on how to handle patients demanding pills and remind them that opioids aren’t very good for chronic pain anyway. To learn more click on the picture below to read the article.

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