September 22, 2017
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.
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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.”
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“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.”