Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Edition: Opioids - January 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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1 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0 T o prevent the next patient from get- ting hooked on opioids, let's first consider what helped cause the national epidemic to spiral out of control. It wasn't surgeons pass- ing out opioids like aspirin, pill mill docs looking to profit off drug-seek- ing patients or addicts working the system for their next fix. The prolif- eration of opioids in communities across the nation can be linked to well-meaning surgeons who prescribed excessive amounts of painkillers to keep their patients comfortable after surgery because, well, that's how they'd always done it. "Surgeons of course know about the opioid crisis, but they might not realize that their overprescribing is contributing to the problem," says Andrew Kolodny, MD, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. "The surgical community is much more aware of the epidemic, but that awareness hasn't yet translated into appropriate prescribing practices." Surgeons are beginning to rely less on opioids to manage post-op pain, but it's going to take time for physicians to alter their prescribing habits, says Michael Manning, MD, an assistant professor of anesthesi- Daniel Cook | Executive Editor A Nation in Crisis Surgeons helped cause the opioid addiction problem. Now they can be part of the solution. • PILING ON Healthcare professionals who failed to understand the seriousness of the opioid addiction epidemic put countless patients in peril.

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