Opioid addiction has become a crisis in America. Nearly two million people are addicted, including children as young as 13 years old, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency rooms every day for misusing prescription opioids and, according to the CDC, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Life in crisis?
Dr. Phil, along with Dr. Gerald Sacks, Director of Pain Management at the Pain Institute of Santa Monica in California; Dr. Patrick Johnson, Director of the Cedars Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles and professor of neurosurgery at UC Davis Medical Center; and Dr. Charles Sophy, who is board certified in adult, child and adolescent psychiatry and family practice, and is the medical director for DCFS in Los Angeles, shed light on this epidemic.
“I get the feeling that so many of our viewers think because they might acquire these pills with a prescription, that that means it’s OK,” Dr. Phil says. “If they’re taking these things for extended periods of time, it’s changing who they are, medically, biochemically in every way.” WATCH: How Opioids And Heroin Affect The Brain
“Absolutely,” Dr. Sacks says. “These patients get their prescriptions, at least initially, usually, for an appropriate reason and then commonly, they’ll just continue to take these medications far beyond the period of which time that their pain was occurring.”
Dr. Johnson explains that a normal course for opioids is a week to 10 days. “I think that it’s unusual when somebody needs surgical post-operative pain management for four weeks,” he says.
Watch the video above to learn more. And on Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil
. see how a mother of three and former PTA member became addicted to prescription pills and then eventually to heroin. Check here
to see where you can watch.TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Dr. Phil, please solve our conflict!
Mom Of Three Describes How Heroin Took Over Her Life