One in Three Blame Doctors for Opioid Abuse Problem


The public is blaming doctors for the nation’s epidemic of opioid addiction about as much as they hold individuals responsible for abusing the drugs. They also support the new Obama administration guidelines that pressures doctors to prescribe fewer powerful painkillers.  But they are also worried that it will create hurdles for people who legitimately need strong pain medicine.   Do you see the lunacy of this?  Let’s summarize the patients’ perspectives here: First, doctors caused this. Second, we want fewer narcs prescribed.  Third, we want narcs when we need them!

And here is a question.  Why aren’t the prescribing guidelines sponsored by Purdue Pharmaceuticals like the pain scale was in the early 2000s?  That’s right.  The Joint Commission started this mess with the support of a pharmaceutical company with skin in the game.  Why aren’t they held responsible? Why am I the only one calling out this third party hired gun who made doctors increase their pain prescriptions or be subject to lawsuits?


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] 

  7 comments for “One in Three Blame Doctors for Opioid Abuse Problem

  1. Craig Amnott
    March 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    It was the knucklehead who invented “pain’ as the 5th vital sign 15-20 years ago.

  2. Kurt Savegnago
    March 30, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Save for retirement as aggressively as one can and get out of primary care medicine.
    Let grandma and those with liver and renal disease suffer then I say. When we blow holes
    in peoples stomachs and whack them to dialysis machines maybe the ivory tower bastards
    will change their tune. Maybe 3 or 4 million out of a country of 310,000,000 have an issue.
    Less than 1%. And look what the legalization of Pot is doing.

    I predict with this stupidness of aggressively screening for depression is going to have the media
    crucifying us royally for the “increased use of anti-depressants” in 5 years. Depression is a problem whenthe patient (or when the family confidentially brings it to the doctors attention) that’s when one needs to intervene. If one would screen all the primary care MD’s in the country the vast majority would probably qualify for drugs!!

  3. RSW
    March 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    A class action lawsuit against the JC would be sweet.

  4. Ben Van Raalte
    March 29, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    You werent the only one. When they stated the pain scale, I protested and stated in 10 years there would be an epidemic of drug abuse and thousands of deaths. More people would die because of narcotics than die of pain.
    I have had patients rate themselves 10 out of 10, and have a pulse ox of 82, when they could be awakened.
    Add patient satisfaction scores, and doctors that dont give drugs getting low scores.
    For years the busiest surgeons have been those that hand out narcs like candy, disability for any request, and time off. The patients flock to them and send their friends. The unions refer to them too.
    Patient satisfaction scores and doctors having to be the bad guy telling patients to lose weight, stop smoking, no narcs, go to work, are contractictory.

  5. Perry
    March 29, 2016 at 8:15 am

    The pendulum continues to swing wildly back and forth. This is what happens when third parties try to practice medicine.

    • Thomas Guastavino
      March 29, 2016 at 8:21 am

      And Doctors with a complacent leadership continue to allow it to happen.

  6. Thomas Guastavino
    March 29, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Guastavinos 9th Rule of Medicine: “Unless the patient is terminal or very, very reliable, no narcotics for chronic pain:.

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