PAMED: Heroin Epidemic Requires All-Out Effort

The following is a statement from Bruce A. MacLeod, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and a practicing emergency medicine physician from Pittsburgh. Dr. MacLeod’s statement is made in response to research on Pennsylvania and heroin use.

Today, Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) and the Center for Rural PA Board released findings from four public hearings that researched heroin abuse in Pennsylvania. The findings confirm what many strongly believed – Pennsylvania has a growing problem that’s at an epidemic level.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to solve this problem, and it will take great effort of many individuals and organizations. Closely related to the heroin epidemic is prescription drug abuse, which also can no longer be ignored.

Two years ago, the Pennsylvania Medical Society started its “Pills for Ills, Not Thrills” campaign to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse. Since then, our organization has been at the forefront of projects that can make a difference. PAMED supports drug drop-off programs and recently released prescribing guidelines for opioids.

Sadly, though, physicians do not have access to a controlled substance database. If one was available for physician use, it would help at the grassroots level when a doctor shopper enters an exam room to scam a medical practice for prescription drugs. It’s time for the Pennsylvania Senate and House to pass prescription drug monitoring legislation, and give physicians access to this important information.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society applauds Senator Yaw and the members of the Center for Rural PA Board for their research efforts. We look forward to working with Senator Yaw and his colleagues to pass related legislation.

You can read a copy of the report here.

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Anonymous said…
Epidemic - a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

How can their be a heroin epidemic? Heroin is not infectious or a disease. People dying of heroin overdoses is a sign of a poor life decision.
Anne Holliday said…
adjective: epidemic

1. of, relating to, or of the nature of an epidemic.
"shoplifting has reached epidemic proportions"

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