Expert Says Opioid Problem is 'Not Getting Worse'

UB physician says more training is needed

Tom Puckett
October 27, 2017 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) An expert on opioid addiction says not much progress has been made in the fight, but the problem is not getting any worse.

"The progress is basically to slow the increase, to level off the number of deaths, prescriptions for opioids, and requests for opioid addiction treatment," says Dr. Richard Blondell, a substance abuse expert from the University at Buffalo. "What's been done to level things off are that doctors have been more prudent in the prescription habits, and that's been due in part to education," says Blondell, who adds doctors in New York must take a three hour online course. He says most states have a database to get patient information on prescriptions which has put a crimp on doctor shopping.

He says nothing's been working to get the decrease to start, and that's where things need to begin. For that to happen he says show him the money. "Show me where the investment will come in for treatment, training, and prevention," says Blondell. 

Blondell says public awareness and news conferences have brought up red flags, but now is the time to start doing something about the epidemic.

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