The epidemic of opiod addiction sweeping the U.S. is a result of doctors’ “hubris,” claims a leading physician.
Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician, and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, blames doctors for overprescribing strong pain medication and focusing too much on eliminating pain, while ignoring the risks of addiction.
“You can blame the current opioid epidemic, one that kills tens of thousands of people a year in the U.S., on medical hubris,” Offit said. “If you had to lay the blame of this epidemic on anyone, it would be at the feet of doctors and scientists who have believed, wrongly, for 2,500 years that they can separate pain relief from addiction. When we believed that no one should suffer a moment of pain, and became very quick to prescribe opioids, we created the opioid epidemic.”
According to the Daily Caller:
[Offit] points to a long history of health care professionals pushing “breakthrough” pain treatments that ended up creating a population of addicts. Opium was the original substance widely used for pain relief until addiction became too widespread. Opium lead to morphine, which eventual lead to the creation of oxycodone. At one time doctors even thought heroin was a viable treatment for pain.
Fatal overdoses from heroin quadrupled over the last five years nationally, according to data released by the National Center for Health Statistics Feb. 24. They say the massive increase in heroin and general opioid abuse in the U.S. since 2010 is driven by lower drug prices and ingredients with higher potency, like fentanyl.
Herion and opioid related deaths have steadily increased since the 1990s, with numbers overtaking fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in 2015.