Doctors discuss drug abuse prevention
PADUCAH - Emergency room doctors are seeing an increase in patients who are using, and often abusing, prescription drugs.
"We have more deaths in Kentucky than any other states around," said Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti.
He's the director of Paducah's Pain Management Center said what begins with a doctor's initial prescription often turns into a patient's dependency and over use of meds.
"Doctors have been used to just satisfy the patient. Whatever the reason they come to a doctor's office, they leave for a prescription with pain medicine. That practice has to change," he said.
Dr. Manchikanti is spearheading a workshop to address Kentucky's new drug monitoring system. This weekend he's talking with doctors on how to decrease the number of over prescribed pills, and more directly, ways patients don't become hooked.
"We need to look at each and every patients and we have to evaluate, establish the medical necessity that they do need this treatment then give it," said Dr. Manchikanti.
And he warns, it isn't just the doctor's responsibility. Patients looking to pop pills could be charged with serious drug offenses. While the number of drug related deaths nationally may be down, locally, Dr. Manchikanti said western Kentucky is on the map for all the wrong reasons.
"There was one death for every 19 minutes in 2007. But in 2009, there was only one death for every 30 minutes. So things are working - so it can get better," he said.