09 Jan Reduce Prescription Painkillers with the Expertise of our Physicians
Each day 44 people die from prescription painkiller overdoses, and the federal government is fighting back, says the Chicago Tribune. 56% of people surveyed in a recent national Kaiser Family Foundation poll said they had a personal connection to prescription painkiller abuse, either through their own experiences with the drugs or those of a close friend or family member. Within Illinois, prescriptions for addictive narcotics increased 26 percent between 2008 and 2014. In efforts to curb the ever increasing rate of prescriptions and abuse, the federal government awarded Illinois a $3.6 million grant in September to improve its prescription drug monitoring services. The hope is that the money will allow for better tracking of how many pills patients are taking as well as help prevent the well-known practice of “doctor shopping”—going to multiple doctors in search of narcotic prescriptions. Not everyone seems to think this will be enough, though. The poll showed that many people would prefer a more comprehensive federal response that also focuses on awareness and education, treatment programs, and monitoring of doctors’ prescribing habits. The physicians at Illinois Pain Institute have the expertise needed to reduce the amount of painkillers one takes by diagnosing and fixing, not masking, the problem.