Nov. 21, 2022 – Opioid use disorder is a chronic life-threatening disease that people contract through exposure to opioids, either illicit or prescribed by a physician. In recognition of this, in 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out the risks of overprescribing and the need to limit opioid prescriptions to three days for acute pain. Many healthcare professionals who have entered practice in recent decades will identify with episodes of the Hulu series “Dopesick,” which tells the story of the dark years before the dangers of opioids were understood. Overprescription of opioids has led to addiction and dependence on illicit drugs. In one study, 80% of heroin users reported that they began with prescribed opioids. I suspect many physicians will wonder why the new report reverses sound advice and minimizes the clear and proven danger of opioids. 

In Florida we have made major strides to understand this disease and the need for non-opioid pain-therapy options. Our state has taken aggressive steps toward combating the deadly opioid crisis through evidence-based treatment, while ensuring that those who knowingly contribute to the spread of this disease are held accountable.

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