MAG ‘Top Docs’ show on opioid abuse now online

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A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that addressed the steps that the American Medical Association (AMA) is taking to address the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic is now available online. 

The program featured Patrice Harris, M.D., the chair of AMA’s Opioid Task Force. 

“It’s troubling and alarming that more than 90 people in the U.S. die from an opioid or heroin overdose every day,” Dr. Harris reports. “That is why the AMA is committed to stopping opioid abuse and misuse and preventing opioid-related deaths.”

The Atlanta psychiatrist says the task force has developed a number of recommendations, including…

– Encouraging physicians to use state prescription drug monitoring programs

– Promoting effective, evidence-based prescribing and treatment

– Supporting access to comprehensive, affordable and compassionate treatment

– Ending the “stigma” – i.e., patients with chronic conditions deserve good care and compassion and shouldn’t be judged 

– Expanding access to naloxone – which reverses the effects of drug overdoses – through co-prescribing 

– Encouraging the safe storage and disposal of prescription medication  

“The good news is that we are making progress,” says Dr. Harris. “For example, an AMA report found that between 2012 and 2016, the number of opioid prescriptions in the U.S. decreased by more than 43 million – which is nearly a 17 percent decrease.”

She also stresses that, “Every state saw a decrease in opioid prescriptions during the same timeframe, physicians and other health care professionals used state prescription drug monitoring programs more than 136 million times in 2016 (which is a 120 percent increase from 2014), and nearly every state now has a naloxone access law.” 

Finally, Dr. Harris is applauding MAG and the MAG Foundation for leading the effort to fight prescription drug abuse in Georgia.    

MAG sponsors the ‘Top Docs’ program at 12 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Between downloads and live listeners, MAG's ‘Top Docs’ show has reached more than 13,000 listeners – which includes people in all 50 states and 84 countries.

MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ show is supported with a grant from Health Care Research, a subsidiary of Alliant Health Solutions. 

Click to listen to ‘Top Docs Radio’ show recording

Click for AMA’s ‘End the Epidemic’ web page 

Click for AMA ‘Physicians’ progress to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic’ report 

Click for AMA Task Force Rx drugs storage/disposal fact sheet

Click for AMA Task Force Rx drugs storage/disposal recommendations web page 

Click for details on the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign