Physician: Pain central to epidemic

April 18, 2017

It’s no secret that there’s an opioid epidemic in the U.S., encompassing not only illegal opioids like heroin, but also prescription pain medication, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Much of the blame can be laid upon how many physicians currently deal with pain in their patients and modern expectations as far as pain control.

That’s according to Dr. Stacy Gibson, one of Batesville’s newest family practitioners. Gibson spoke to the Batesville Rotary Club last week at Kelly Wyatt’s on topics ranging from the changes in pain management to the growth prescription drug abuse.

Non-medical use of opioids costs the U.S. $53.4 billion a year, Gibson said. She also said prescription drug misuse costs $55.7 billion. This abuse winds up generating more cost via overdoses, $20.4 billion.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 20.5 million Americans 12 or older had a substance-use disorder in 2015. Of those, 2 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.

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