Skip to main content

Study: Doctors Could Do More To Prevent Prescription Drug Overdoses

Photo caption: A prescription bottle of Vicodin is shown, on Dec. 17, 2005

Photo credit: Sharyn Morrow / flickr

A prescription bottle of Vicodin is shown, on Dec. 17, 2005

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available. A transcript has been made available.

California has an online database called CURES, that physicians can use to see if a patient is doctor-shopping for dangerous drugs. A new study from two San Diego doctors suggests a lot of drug overdose deaths could be prevented if more physicians used the database.

The study examined all of the 254 prescription-related overdose deaths in San Diego County in 2013, most of which involved the use of prescription painkillers. In 73% of the fatalities, people took drugs that were in the CURES system.

Dr. Roneet Lev, emergency medicine physician at Scripps Mercy Hospital, and Dr. Jonathan Lucas, San Diego County deputy medical examiner, discuss Monday on Midday Edition what steps physicians and patients could take to help reduce the number of drug overdose deaths.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.