I recently had the pleasure of being asked to present at a conference in Dayton, Ohio, on the topic of prescription drugs and their relationship to the ongoing heroin problem. Dayton, along with most of the rest of Ohio and much of the nation, is inundated with heroin abuse. Law enforcement is doing everything it can, but it has not stopped the unprecedented number of overdose deaths.
One of the big questions I hear is: did the pharmaceutical companies cause the current heroin problem? If not, what is the role of the untold number of over-prescribers and their sometimes abettors—pharmacists? These questions reflect our society’s tendency to blame somebody for our ailments, and pharmaceutical companies probably top the list as the best villain, but local health care providers and pharmacists can be in the crosshairs, too. [Read more…]