North Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – There is new concern over prescription drug abuse. The CDC says new research indicates it could be the leading cause of death in the United States. The agency is releasing guidelines in attempt to curb addiction.
Dr. Steven Loyd was in the last year of his residency when he started taking prescription pain killers. “The anxiety started to build- up…became the only way to deal with the pressures of my life,” he said.
According to the American College of Physicians, this story is part of an epidemic of prescription drug use in the US. The ACP issued a new list of policies regarding prescription drugs. It suggests doctors first consider non-addictive pain killers. When addictive narcotics must be prescribed, doctors should carefully think about the dosage.
The ACP also recommends doctors screen patients for risk of addiction and that patients agree – in writing – they will do as the doctor says. “Follow the prescription as written, not sort of take on the role yourself of prescriber and physician,” said Sean Clarkin with the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
The ACP says patients should know drugs are not intended to eliminate 100 percent of the pain. “If that’s what the patient’s mindset is he’s likely going to come back and say, I wasn’t getting enough relief and I doubled the prescription,” said Dr. Molly Cooke with the ACP.
Dr. Loyd received treatment and resumed his medical career. He has been drug-free now for 10 years. “The reason I share my story is to let folks know, you can get better,” said Loyd. Now he works with others now to help them overcome their addictions.