Opioid Epidemic Focus On Augusta Conference

By Rodney Rafols , Mar 08, 2017 01:28 AM EST

Opioid abuse has been growing in recent years. People are turning to them as they are accessible. The opioid epidemic is the focus on the Augusta Conference.

The Augusta Conference has as one of its aim is to find alternatives to pain management. Opioids have been used to manage severe pain. However, opioids have also been abused in recent years. Finding an alternative to pain management could lessen the use of opioids.

Maine has been known to have one of the highest incidence of opioid use. The Augusta Conference is looking at limiting dosage use or else having more stricter laws to regulate opioid use. With the new law, there is now a cap to how much opioid dosage should be used per day.

With the new cap, opioid dosage is limited to 100 morphine equivalents or even less. Prescription limitation has been imposed as well. Now opioid use is only limited to 30 days per prescription. That means patients will have to go back to their doctors in order to extend opioid use, if ever they need it.

Fatalities due to opioid abuse have also risen, according to the Portland Press Herald. In 2016 deaths due to opioid abuse has been at 378. This number is higher than the overall motor vehicle deaths, which was only at 160.

State health officer Dr. Christopher Pezzullo has said that there is little evidence that opioids work for chronic pain. He has said that there are alternatives to chronic pain management. These alternatives have lesser risk compared to opioid medication.

This has been agreed on by Dr. Ezekiel Fink, one of the keynote speakers at the conference. He has said that doctors must look for alternative treatments for pain, as WABI TV5's site reports. He has also noted that patients who are on opioid medication do not get off it even after the pain has subsided.

The opioid epidemic is growing, and many in the medical industry are starting to address it. The opioid epidemic is the focus on the Augusta Conference. A study has found a resistant gene to have a variant.

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