To Your Health
June, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 06)
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A Path Out of the Opioid Epidemic

By Editorial Staff

According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, senior medical correspondent at CNN, the very doctors who prescribe opioids deserve a lion's share of the blame for the opioid epidemic sweeping the country – and a lion's share of the responsibility to help rectify the situation.

In "Prescription Addiction: Doctors Must Lead Us Out of Our Opioid Abuse Epidemic," an illuminating feature article with accompanying video published on, Dr. Gupta outlines the crisis in shockingly candid fashion (particularly for a medical doctor). Here are just some of the sound bites from the article:

  • "There is no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently. The majority of those deaths result from prescription opioid medications, such as hydrocodone, OxyContin and Percocet."
  • "As of 2011, 75% of the world's opioid prescription drugs are prescribed and swallowed up in a country that makes up less than 5% of the world's population, leading to the most common cause of preventable death in America today. It is a horrifying and shameful statistic."
  • "Most of the blame ... belongs on the shoulders of the American doctors themselves. ...The fact is, we have accepted the tall tales and Pollyannaish promises of what these medications could do for too long. As a community, we weren't skeptical enough. We didn't ask enough questions."
  • "Even worse, too many doctors who didn't actually believe the hyperbole surrounding opioids doled out long-term prescriptions regardless, in the same way doctors write antibiotic prescriptions for viral illnesses. In both cases, they don't work."
  • "Most disturbing, however, is a recent study showing that 91% of people who survived an overdose were still able to get another opioid prescription, typically from the same prescribing doctor."

Dr. Gupta clearly illuminates a path out of what he calls "a completely man-made" public-health epidemic – and puts the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of all doctors who prescribe opioids – that relies on patient-centered care, alternatives to medication, and pain strategies that do good, not harm.

For more information about the danger of opioid abuse / addiction and non-opioid options for pain, click here and schedule an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic.