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Opioids Epidemic Continues

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Posted on Jan 07, 2019

By Julia Vann

Opioid drugs are well known for two things. They provide pain relief, but they are also incredibly addictive. While addiction is a terrible crisis, it is also an opportunity for drug companies and doctors to exploit. Addicted customers will keep buying, even if they no longer truly need the drug.

According to CNBC, there were two doctors willing to exploit their patients’ need for pain relief. Patrick Couch and Xiulu Ruan are now imprisoned for their actions, but the harm has already occurred. In exchange for kickbacks from drug companies, Couch and Ruan prescribed dozens of opioids to patients, knowing the risk of addiction.

“Opioid overdoses kill more Americans per year than breast cancer, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services” (CNBC).

Not only are opioids addictive, but this addiction can very easily become life-threatening. Doctors like Couch or Ruan, even knowing this, continue to prescribe these medications in order to line their own pockets.

It’s easy to get sucked into the idea that your doctors are moral and virtuous and only have your best interests at heart. Physicians do take the Hippocratic Oath. However, there are always going to be bad eggs out there, so it is important to stay mindful of what your doctors are telling you.

Make sure to ask your doctor questions and never be afraid to ask for a second opinion if there’s something you’re unsure about. If your doctor prescribes you something you’re uncertain of, ask for alternatives. Not every doctor out there is looking to exploit their patients, but they still make mistakes. There is no shame in looking out for yourself.

To learn more about recent healthcare news, visit the American Medical Compliance website.

Cohn, Scott. “The Deadly Trap of Opioid Painkiller Addiction.” CNBC, CNBC, 18 Oct. 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/03/01/american-greed-report-you-can-make-the-difference-about-managing-your-pain.html.