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Pennsylvania looks to curb painkiller abuse

Updated:

By: WJAC Web Staff and The Associated Press

HARRISBURG -- In an effort to curb a spike in prescription painkiller abuse, Gov. Tom Corbett's administration is endorsing a set of voluntary practices for doctors.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society also endorsed the new guidelines out this month, which it helped write.

Corbett's secretary for drug and alcohol programs, Garry Tennis, said there's been a dramatic increase in prescribing opioids for chronic pain over the last 15 years. He said it's been accompanied by skyrocketing prescription drug abuse and overdoses that have led to Pennsylvania's current heroin epidemic.

He said he hopes the guidelines will significantly reduce the chances of addiction to prescription opioids.

The guidelines ask doctors to discuss risks and benefits with patients, thoroughly research a patient's medical history and consider an initial treatment with opiods to be a therapeutic trial.

Pennsylvania looks to curb painkiller abuse


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