The new CDC guidelines for prescribing opioid pain pills

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June 3, 2016- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

The musician Prince died from a fentanyl overdose. Michael Jackson died from a sleeping medication required for his pain pill addiction. Tiger Woods’ golf career began to decline in 2009 when his pain pill addition caused him to crash a car into a tree. Virtually every case of self-destructive behavior seen in the tabloids related to opioid pain pills and marijuana.

Pain pill prescriptions have quadrupled since the 1990’s as drug companies stepped up marketing and funded the campaign that claimed pain was under treated. However, the data showing that opioids were effective at treating chronic pain were lacking. But the data showing their addictiveness is well documented.

As a result of these trends, and epidemic of overdoses has become a scourge to America. Every day, at least 80 people die from opioid overdoses, which is on par with or greater than car accidents.

To finally address this problem, the federal government is changing policy at the CDC and FDA. The DEA is cracking down as well.

We interviewed Deborah Dowell, MD, MPH, the senior medical advisor for the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to discuss their newly published guidelines on how to properly prescribe opioid pain pills to reduce the chance of addiction.

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