Peter was a patient of mine to whom I prescribed opioids intermittently for several years. I remember to this day how shocked I was to finally discover that he was not only pathologically hooked on opioids, but was so hooked he was stealing money to buy them on the street. Even more shocking to me; a patient I liked and respected, an upstanding member of the community, had been deceiving me. …
I was intent on reducing the painful suffering of my patients, and too unaware of the suffering that might develop if my pills were used inappropriately. I failed to see that our efforts in healthcare to be more effective treating pain – efforts promoted on a national level by healthcare regulators and pain experts – was ‘opioid-dependent’ itself, and would come back to haunt us all.
Those are words written by an incredible man who practices primary care here in Maine. Dr. Erik Steele writes with such honesty about a topic that is often difficult for physicians to discuss publicly. He should be thanked for saying what many are thinking, for taking ownership of a problem and working hard to address it.
Click here to read the entire article. Thank you Dr. Steele. #HealthyRegion