Culture change needed to fight opioid crisis

The opportunity to serve the Anderson community as an independent neighborhood pharmacist humbles me daily. Our access to a wide variety of medicines is the envy of most of the world, and it helps us lead happy and productive lives.

But some of our loved ones succumb to a disease triggered by the very medicines that should help them. The disease is opioid addiction.

Opioid addiction usually results from pain management efforts following an injury or surgery, because health care providers often automatically resort to high-potency drugs that promise immediate relief. Those drugs frequently cause addiction.

The default to opioid prescription stems from, according to many physicians, the priority of “patient satisfaction.” Medicare, in particular, uses “patient satisfaction” in its calculus for reimbursement. One doctor put it this way: pain equals dissatisfaction, and dissatisfaction equals lower

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