Drug overdose death rates are higher in rural counties. prescribing powerful drugs like Vicodin and Oxycontin because they don't know how.
He says during his medical school training in the late 1990s, patient advocates and even the California legislature were among those pushing doctors to provide something more for patients’ pain. Paiuk practices at Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City.
"That way we have the patient coming back more frequently," says Paiuk, "and if there’s a problem starting to come up, we catch it must faster because there’s only one month of pills at a time and it reduces the amount of pills in circulation at any given time.".
A two-year program at Kaiser Permanente has drastically reduced the number of prescriptions for these brand name drugs by teaching front-line doctors how to safely prescribe pain medication.
"The tension we’re always under is to make sure we’re helping to relieve their suffering but that we’re not doing something that will cause harm," says Paiuk.
Vicodin prescriptions, too, were sky-high – and not just at Kaiser.
You can probably take the prescription pain medication OxyContin (oxycodone) if you're using cardiovascular drugs. But there are some important exceptions.
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