LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the most common misconceptions about men and women who abuse prescription opioid drugs is that they get those drugs from friends or relatives. Now, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed alarming new evidence that those at highest risk of opioid overdose are just as likely to obtain opiate drugs from a doctor's prescription.
According to the report, medical prescriptions account for 27% of the opioids taken by those at highest risk for overdose. About 26% are obtained from friends or relatives for free and 23% of opiate prescription drugs are purchased from friends or relatives, the CDC report showed. The report also found that these same users are four times more likely than an average user to purchase drugs from an unknown source like a dealer.
According to the CDC report, the finding "underscores the need for prevention efforts that focus on physicians' prescribing behaviors and patients at highest risk for overdose," defined as those who use prescription opioids non-medically at least 200 days per year.
Michael H. Lowenstein, M.D., director of the Waismann Method®, a leading provider of advanced treatment for opiate dependence located in Southern California, says the manner of prescribing opiates needs to change.
"In our society, we put a lot of trust in our healthcare professionals, and rightly so, since they're charged with helping us stay healthy throughout our lives," Lowenstein said. "At the same time, physicians must be held accountable for ensuring they prescribe responsibly, considering factors like patient age, dependency risks, emotional history and even daily responsibilities.
"They also have to adequately educate the patient about the very real risk for becoming dependent on these drugs," he said. "In short, doctors must be sure they're focused on the whole patient and not just the symptoms when prescribing opioids, or any medication for that matter.
In addition to serving as director of the Waismann Method treatment facility, Lowenstein is also a board certified pain specialist and anesthesiologist.
"When a patient comes to us, we work together to create a treatment program that's tailored to that patient's needs and addresses the specific and individual issues that patient is facing," Lowenstein said. "In 15 years of treatment experience, we've demonstrated that's the best way to help ensure patients can successfully transition back into society."
About WAISMANN METHOD® Treatment
Since 1999, the WAISMANN METHOD® has been recognized as a leading provider of medical treatment and detoxification for patients dealing with opiate addiction. Led by Director Michael H. Lowenstein, M.D., the Waismann Method® offers a range of comprehensive treatment programs including "rapid detox" ,medically-assisted detoxification and other forms of treatment Domus Retreat. Doctors, therapists and other staff members work hand-in-hand with patients to create personalized treatment and aftercare plans designed to ensure a healthy and effective transition to life without opiates. Patient safety, comfort, and dignity are our primary priorities, and we always put treatment and care over blame and punishment.
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