Skip to comments.New Jersey hospital emergency room becomes first in U.S. to end use of opioid painkillers
Posted on 03/31/2016 6:02:17 AM PDT by Wolfie
New Jersey hospital emergency room becomes first in U.S. to end use of opioid painkillers
PATERSON, N.J. -- St. Josephs Regional Medical Center announced it has become the first hospital in the country to implement a program that will manage patients' pain in the emergency room without the use of opioid painkillers.
Painkillers most frequently used in the emergency room in the past were oxycodone, vicodin and percocet, according to Dr. Mark Rosenberg, the Emergency Department chair.
Our job here together is to look at the whole equation and understand how we can stop people from going from a prescription, to an addiction, he said.
About a half-mile down the road from St. Josephs, recovering addicts are lining up for treatment at Evas Village.
Demetria Washington said she started on pills before moving on to heroin.
Then I couldnt get to it no more and a girlfriend of mine was like well you could just try heroin. And I tried it and I liked it.
She used drugs for 18 years, before entering recovery. Shes been clean for 8 years and currently works as a recovery specialist at Eva's.
A lot of people use prescription drugs and then they end up turning to heroin, she added.
Washingtons co-worker told us that she warns her son about the dangers of abusing prescription painkillers everyday.
Thats what I tell my son because hes seen me at my lowest point, said Geraldine Lowe.
Lowe is also a recovering addict and a recovery specialist at Evas Village.
"As a matter of fact, and Im not ashamed to say it, he was born addicted to drugs, she said, adding that her son is now using pills.
Americas pill problem hits close to home, even for the head of St. Joseph's Emergency Department. Dr. Rosenberg said his mother-in-law recently broke her wrist.
She went to the local emergency department without telling me, and she got 5 percocet and told to see her family doctor. Family doctor gave her a prescription for 100. Shes 93 years old. 100 percocet. The point being is we, our culture is such that its really, really out of control, said Dr. Rosenberg.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than than in any year on record, beating out deaths caused by car crashes and guns. Heroin and painkiller abuse are driving this problem, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In 2012, there were enough opioid prescriptions issued - nearly 260 million - to give every man, woman and child in the country their own bottle of pills, said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Federal and local lawmakers, law enforcement and health officials met for several hours at St. Josephs today to discuss how to stem the tide of opioid addiction.
Everybody is at this table that should be, except for a few other people. We need the pharmaceuticals here, because they're shoving drugs down our throats, said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ).
St. Josephs Emergency Department, one of the busiest in the nation, has already begun to treat over 250 patients with alternative medicine or treatments, who would have otherwise received opioids. While opioids will still be used by St. Josephs staff to treat chronic pain, they will no longer be the first line of treatment.
We have to acknowledge the fact that opioids are an essential drug to managing people with severe pain, like cancer pain, said Dr. Rosenberg.
Federal legislation known as the Comprehensive addiction and recovery act is currently pending that could provide federal grants to states and local governments to combat the national epidemic of heroin addiction and prescription painkiller abuse.
It passed the Senate this month, it has not been voted on in the house
Headline is wrong
Okay, what are they using for pain? Acupuncture?
I am sure this will only apply to ordinary peons like us. The scum in DC will never have to suffer through pain.
Plenty of other options for pain management. The opiod addiction issue is out of control. My brother and sister-in-law both are recovering addicts, clean for almost 4 years now. It’s a scourge.
Another fake war - war on drugs. My mother is 80 years old. If she wants to take a Percocet - let her damn it. I have a elderly neighbor who has chronic pain, rheumatoid etc. Takes some type of narcotic. I don’t remember which one. Has to beg or can’t get them filled til the day she runs out. Doesn’t matter if there is a foot of snow and she doesn’t drive.
I imagine there will be a lot of uncomfortable people in that hospital.
Plenty of other options for pain management
Not all options work. Broken bone or surgery pain is awful. Cant imagine taking a Tylenol.
This is stupid. I have been on many of those painkillers over the years and was always able to stop taking them.
A bottle of whiskey and a piece of wood to chomp down on is all you need.
Lol. Wonder what kind of pain meds they give for major surgery.
Oh really? Tell me about those options please.
Wonder how fast people will be driving to the next nearest hospital.
..many people simply cannot tolerate NSAIDs. Some form of opioid like Tylenol 3 is the only alternative for pain management...
I had back surgery a few years ago and they put me on “the pump” for the pain. It really didn’t help the pain although I didn’t press the button that often — why bother. Maybe I should have asked for some whiskey. :)
That’s wonderful for your in-laws. Not everyone who walks into a hospital ER is an addict or will become one. Jeez. The way this country looks at addiction.
Lol. Wonder what kind of pain meds they give for major surgery
Why would you need pain meds? lol
“Okay, what are they using for pain? Acupuncture?”
They ask you where it hurts then they hit you with a mallet in the appropriate place to draw your attention away from it.
Plenty of other options for pain management. The opiod addiction issue is out of control. My brother and sister-in-law both are recovering addicts, clean for almost 4 years now. Its a scourge.
The irresponsibility of addicts and enablers should not take away the tools available to doctors to treat patients.
And in severe pain, while they are speeding to the next hospital.
Now they just give you four million ML's of six antibiotics in your butt and in your IV, and a pat on the ass to boot you out the door and leave it up to you to make sure your sutures don't blow open.
They get a bonus from your insurance carrier to not admit you. Now the only exception is if you get hurt on the job. Then you get the best care available. Pain management, every other hour fluids intake and output monitoring, temperature checks, blood pressure, wound or incision checks, and a call button.
People get addicted to opioids because you used to need to be under medical supervision while on them.
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