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imal number needed, and written as part of a plan for reassessment and consideration of a multidisciplinary pain management plan.
Educate your patients on the risk of these medications. Resources exist to help with this:
Washtenaw Health Initiative Opioid Project SAMHSA Resources
Washtenaw County Resource Information
Physicians are compassionate. We would not have chosen the profession and practice of medicine if we were not. I have often heard colleagues respond to calls for tightening of opioid proscribing that they would prefer to err on the side of prescribing narcotics liberally than risk leaving one suffering patient untreated.
I would submit that this is not the compassion we take it for. While this may seem at first glance to be compas- sion for individual patients, it is inconsistent with the safe practice of medicine on a population level. Seen through the lens of a time in which 30,000 Americans are dying annually of opioid related overdoses. To continue to prescribe narcotics in such a way we risk harming our patients, and by appearing careless, the profession of medicine. We must ensure prescribing is appropriate, and the evidence suggests strongly that limiting opioids is usually the best choice.
We as physicians must seek to engage our colleagues in hospital administration, regulators, payers, and policy makers, in addition to our patients and their advocates, in a conversation to ensure that we find a solution to this crisis that is compassionate, and immediately begins to reduce the impact of opioids in our communities.
This ensures our patients and communities will be safer. confronting-a-crisis-an-o_b_9911530.html /BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine /SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186188.htm,4643,7-123-58995_ 7 2 4 8 7 - 3 6 510 5 - - , 0 0 . h t m l environmental_health/recycling_home_toxics/ medication_ disposal
h t t p s : // s t o r e . s a m h s a . g o v / s h i n / c o n t e n t / S M A 0 9 - 4 4 4 3 / SMA09-4443.pdf public_health/opioid-and-heroin-data/opioid-and-heroin- data#resources-1
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Volume 68 • Number 4 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 5

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