New Study Finds 3 Ways to Help the Opioid Epidemic

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A new study done by the Rand Corporation, a US non-profit research organization, found three ways that could help end the opioid epidemic.

The steps include:

  • Minimize prescribing opioid painkillers
  • Counseling
  • Seeing a doctor regularly

The researchers discovered that the three interventions reduced the number of deaths in a year.

A key to reducing deaths among these addicted patients was to minimize prescribing narcotic painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) and benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin) and diazepam (Valium), Watkins said.

Watkins said doctors should prescribe fewer pills at lower doses to these patients.

Counseling may help reduce overdose deaths because addicted patients seem to benefit from a connection with a counselor, Watkins said.

Seeing a doctor regularly may be a way of quickly identifying changes in a patient’s well-being, such as a relapse or new medical problems, she said.

To read the full story from CBS News, click here.

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