ASHLAND, Ore. -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the opioid epidemic kills about 115 Americans every day.
NewsWatch 12 talked to two doctors who say one of the ways to fight the opioid epidemic is to educate doctors and surgeons about the dangers of over-prescribing.
Dr. Mark Greenberg is a pain specialist in Ashland at Advanced Pain Care, he says he believes that more and more surgeons are becoming aware, "I think, gradually, the education is spreading to different parts of the country and from what I read in various reports and hear in different meetings, it’s not just here that doctors are becoming better educated and more aware of the issues around opioids. It really is becoming a national focus."
Dr. Greenberg says that he has seen a big push, particularly in Jackson and Josephine counties, to educate physicians about the dangers of chronic opioid prescribing and the effects on patients and communities.
Dr. Greenberg treats patients with chronic pain and says that he rarely uses opioids. Instead, he has success with intervention methods. There are a few different treatment options such as injecting blood platelets into nerves that are causing pain.
According to Dr. Todd Korthuis, the Associate Professor of Medicine at OHSU and Principal Investigator for OR-HOPE, an organization that is working to fight the opioid epidemic, the chances of addiction grow with every refill, "For every one week of refills that someone receives after surgery, their risk of developing opioid misuse increases by 40%."
OR-HOPE is a team of professionals that are working to educate the public about the opioid epidemic and provide physicians and those struggling with opioid addiction the proper tools to end the crisis.