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Florida facilities implement plan to treat ED pain patients

Laws targeting the state’s pain clinics have resulted in more people turning to EDs for pain medication, including those abusing prescription drugs, according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel.

ED physicians and nurses are facing aggressive pill-seekers, who become threatening if they do not receive the drugs they want, according to the article. In response to this new wave of patients, Orlando Health and Florida Hospital officials announced they are implementing a chronic pain management plan to help ED staff better deal with the influx of people seeking pain treatment.

“We certainly support the additional policing of illegal use of prescription pain medication, but realized it was time for us to make some changes in how we handle the situation in our emergency department,” said David Goldman, DO, a Florida Hospital emergency room physician, in the article.

The new plan calls for physicians to help educate patients about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and addiction and to refer patients to a primary care physician for long-term treatment. The plan also calls for physicians to refer patients to community resources such as rehabilitation facilities, if they need help for prescription-drug addiction.

About seven people die each day in Florida because of prescription-drug overdoses, according to the article. New state laws ban most doctors from selling pain medications out of their offices, and many local governments have placed moratoriums on new pain management clinics.

According to law enforcement officials, many rogue doctors operate out of pain clinics, where people can get large quantities of pain medications and sedatives with little to no medical evaluation or true need for the drugs.

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posted in: Florida
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