According to the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors are prescribing painkillers "too soon, too often and for too long."
With prescription painkillers like oxycodone more accessible than ever before, fatal overdoses cases are also on the rise. Doctors have a responsibility to help prevent overdoses by carefully controlling which patients have access to potentially addictive and deadly drugs. According to many observers, however, the medical community is not doing its part to protect patients.
While medical mistakes are nothing new, a recent study reached some alarming conclusions about how doctors and hospital employees respond to them when they occur. Research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that hospitals only notify affected patients in two percent of cases.
Last week, we covered a new report from the Los Angeles Times that raises big questions with area doctors' new approach to prescription drugs. According to the Times' research, many doctors have moved away from reserving narcotics for the most extreme cases - these potentially addictive and deadly substances are now among the most popular drug products.
Our last post introduced new groundbreaking investigative journalism from the Los Angeles Times. In its study out this week, the Times pointed to two problems in the Los Angeles area that are driving a deadly trend towards prescription drug overdoses.
In a new investigative report, the Los Angeles Times says that prescription drug overdoses are a big problem in California. Its research showed that 47 percent of the Los Angeles area's 3,733 narcotics-related deaths between 2006 and 2011 involved prescriptions.