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DEA releases database about opioids to the public

The database shows the amount of pills dispensed in every state and county.

Posted: Jul 22, 2019 6:54 PM

MEDFORD, Ore-- One of the Drug Enforcement Administration's databases is now public.

"It's higher than I ever imagined it could be." said Joan Robertson-Geisler. She lives in Grants Pass.

The past few years we've heard the words opioid crisis, or epidemic. "Those were just words and we can see it, we hear about the devastation, but it became very tangible when I saw those numbers." said Robertson-Geisler. 

The database shows the entire country. The darker the color, the more pills that were dispensed. If you zoom into our region; you can click on each county. "79 pills on average were prescribed to every man, woman and child in my county." said Robertson-Geisler. 

"I think that issue changed dramatically over the last several years." said Joe Savino. He is a doctor at Pain Specialists of Southern Oregon. "The role that opioids have played in chronic pain management has been too large in the past. We were grossly over prescribing those medications."

Savino says now doctors and physicians are trying to change that. Whether it's the medication they prescribe or what happens months after the surgery. "We do a lot of counseling with expectations. You know you tear your acl and you have a surgery you are going to have some pain associated with that." said Savino. 

Robertson-Geisler is just shocked by the static's and wants to see a change. "I feel as though we need to figure out how we are going to go forward from here to make sure this doesn't happen again." said Robertson-Geisler. 

Savino believes there is another underlying problem. "Why do we have this problem now? When we haven't in the past." said Savino'

Here's a link to that database: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/dea-pain-pill-database/?utm_term=.9b59b9257ea9

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