LA’s Pain Med Problem

LA is now coming clean about their prescription drug overdose problem.   In a recent Huffington Post report, they point out some amazing statistics:

  • In 2009, there were 5,382 emergency room visits and 3,048 hospitalizations for prescription drug overdose.
  • More than 60 percent of drug-related deaths in the city between 2000 and 2009 were caused by prescription drug overdose.
  • Publicly-funded rehab programs reported that the number of people checking in for prescription drug abuse doubled between 2005 and 2010.
  • Drug-induced deaths now exceed all other causes of injury death nationally, including deaths from car accidents and firearms, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
  • In LA County, 11 percent of 9th graders, 14 percent of 11th graders, and 37 percent of students in continuation or alternative high schools reported misuse of prescription drugs at least once.
  • In 2010, an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs nonmedically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,600 initiates per day.

I wonder if, during those hospitalizations, the nursing staff had to follow the strict Joint Commission guidelines and ask whether these patients had their pain under control and/or  needed more medication?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]

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2 Responses

  1. big picture doc says:

    And I don’t want to hear one more whining “physician” complaining about alternative practitioners when they are causing all these prescription drug deaths. Heal yourselves fools!

  2. Carol says:

    WTF- Pt’s who overuse/misuse meds are ALWAYS going to rate their pain as “10”-try reading http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/301345524.html

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