Citizens encouraged to show support
New guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention for prescribing opioids could help reduce the rates of addiction across our nation, Ohio Rep. Robert C. Sprague said Monday as he announced his support for the draft guidelines.
“Ohio has the second highest per capita rate of deaths from opioid overdoses in the nation,” the 83rd District representative said. “We have to step back and ask ourselves what is the root cause.”
Mr. Sprague and Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee believe over-prescribing opioids for treating chronic pain is one factor that can lead people to turn to heroin, particularly after their prescriptions run out.
“We have the dubious distinction among our neighboring counties of having the highest rate of opioid dosages,” Mr. Goslee said. “Our average is higher than the state average.”
Mr. Goslee used data from the Ohio Automated Reporting System to track dosage rates from 2010 to the third quarter of 2015.
Logan County had higher rates than Champaign, Hardin, Shelby and Union counties.
The highest rate was 19.97 pills prescribed in the third quarter of 2012 for every resident of Logan County. It has dropped from 19.64 in the second quarter of 2014 to 17.43 for the last reading.
Ohio’s state average is 15.06 as of the third quarter of 2015.
Mr. Goslee said he believes Mary Rutan Hospital has taken steps to address over-prescribing painkillers. He is not sure all of the prescriptions filled in Logan County come from local doctors.
Rep. Sprague said the draft guidelines address a number of concerns.
Among the recommendations to physicians are:
• using non prescription pain relievers and alternative methods such as physical therapy and chiropractic treatment to treat pain;
• limit prescriptions to three days;
• lower the dosage for chronic pain and increase monitoring of the patient for signs of addiction; and
• if addiction begins, get them off the drugs and into treatment.
“I would encourage every family member who has been affected by addiction to take 10 minutes to submit a comment to support for these guidelines,” Mr. Sprague said.
The deadline is Wednesday.
To view the guidelines online go to www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prescribing/guideline.html.
Another access point is Regulations.gov and search for “prescribing opioids” as the phrase.
People without Internet access can call Rep. Sprague’s office at (614)466-3819.