US: Pa. doctors: Painkillers can lead to heroin, ODs
Found: Mon Mar 10 21:16:38 2014 PDT
Source: Pocono Record, The (Stroudsburg, PA)
Copyright: 2014 Pocono Mountains Media Group
Webpage: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/... [translate]
Author: Chris Reber
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Pa. doctors: Painkillers can lead to heroin, ODs
Bills would create online database to detect prescription abuse
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By Chris Reber
Pocono Record Writer
March 11, 2014
Pennsylvania's leading physicians agree that prescription drug abuse has led to an increase in heroin addiction and overdose deaths.
The solution is limiting the availability of powerful prescription narcotics, but doctors say that is easier said than done.
Eighty percent of heroin users started with prescription painkillers, said Pennsylvania Physician General Carrie DeLone. And, she said, prescription overdose deaths now outnumber heroin and cocaine overdose deaths combined.
"More Pennsylvanians now die from drug overdoses than any kind of preventable injury, including car accidents," said Dr. Michael Fraser, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
Doctors have several recommendations for combating prescription drug abuse.
Dr. Michael Ashburn, director of the Penn Pain Medicine Center in Philadelphia, said during a conference call Monday that doctors need to work on integrated treatment for chronic pain, including physical and psychological therapy.
But, he said, insurance companies don't often allow for the treatment. "Those barriers force us to rely on chronic opioid therapy," he said.
DeLone advocated prescription take-back programs and increasing access to naloxone, a drug that can potentially counter the effects of an overdose.
But the most pressing drug reform is a real-time online database of prescriptions to help doctors see when patients are being overprescribed. Currently, the state only tracks Schedule II narcotics -- which covers painkillers -- with paper reports filed each month to the state Attorney General's Office.
"This (database) would reduce 'doctor shopping,' when patients go to multiple doctors to deceive their health insurance providers about how much they're receiving," DeLone said.
The state House and Senate are considering different bills to create an online prescription database. The big difference now is that the Senate version would mandate doctors to check the database at least once for every patient, according to Scott Chadwick, legislative counsel to the state medical society.
"Patients have a reasonable expectation of privacy for their medical records," he said, citing case law. "Law enforcement should have a search warrant to access their records."
DeLone said the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett favors a database as part of a multi-pronged approach.
Some doctors believe that the database's effectiveness in countering drugs would outweigh any privacy concerns. Dr. John Goldman of Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg said he runs a chronic pain program where patients must submit to drug screenings and allow physicians to check on their prescription history.
"We got the sense that we got a reputation for giving them out easily," he said.
The result, he said, was that people abusing the system were kicked out, leaving the true chronic pain patients who required the treatment. Goldman said while the process may seem aggressive, it's what's necessary to combat the abuse problem.
"Many of the people who are drug seekers are just very good at it," Goldman said. "Physicians are notoriously poor at determining who has chronic pain and who's fooling us."
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analysis of article text
| ||drug of abuse implied / mentioned|
|illegal drugs|| || |
|propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme6 propaganda theme4|| ||•Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)|
•Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
•Themes in Chemical Prohibition
•Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
| ||addiction 60%|
|"addiction"||1||•Twelve-Step Snake Oil (2012)|
•Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers (Thomas Szasz)
|madness, violence, illness|
propaganda theme2 95%
|"drug overdoses" "overdose" "overdoses" "injury" "deaths" "problem" "accidents" addiction||12||•Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)|
•Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
|survival of society|
propaganda theme3 55%
|"Society" "American"||6||•Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)|
•The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
| ||use is abuse|
use is abuse
|"drug abuse" "abuse"||6||•Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4)|
|"can lead to" "lead to"||2||•Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)|
•Distortion 7: Gateway
|gateway, use is abuse|
|use is abuse gateway|| ||•Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)|
|demonize, war, epidemic|
propaganda theme6 50%
|"combating" "combat"||2||•Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)|
•List of Wars on Concepts
•The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
| ||drug of abuse|
|narcotic various illegal drugs addiction stimulant|| || |
| ||drugs 95%|
|various drugs|| || |
| ||drug law 60%|
|"Schedule II"||1|| |
| ||psychoactive chemical|
|cocaine heroin opiate|| ||•erowid.org/chemicals/chemicals.s...|
| ||psychoactive pharmaceutical|
| ||euphoric depressant|
|heroin opiate|| || |
| ||euphoric stimulant|
|cocaine|| || |
|heroin opiate|| || |
|cocaine|| || |
|"narcotics" opioid opiate||2||•Managing Pain|
|heroin|| ||•Managing Pain|
| ||naloxone - opioid overdose antidote|
| ||various drugs 95%|
|"drug" "drugs"||9|| |
| ||various illegal drugs|
|"drug abuse" "prescription drug abuse" "drug overdoses"||5||•mapinc.org|
•DEA's Drugs of Abuse booklet
|re:0.48 st:0.01 fo:0 s:0 d:0.03 c:0 db:0.157 a:0.31 m:0.16 t:1.85 (f)|
text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.