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Stanford Researchers Say Doctors Need To Change Prescribing Habits

Stanford Researchers Say Doctors Need To Change Prescribing Habits
A new study finds a small subset of doctors should not be blamed for the nation’s epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.

America’s health care providers need to change their prescribing habits.

That’s the conclusion of a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Stanford researchers looked at 2013 Medicare data to find out which doctors were prescribing painkillers like OxyContin. Their study found these drugs were prescribed by a variety of providers, including family practice doctors, nurse practitioners and dentists.

Roneet Lev, an emergency room doctor at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, said medical education needs to change.

“I’ve been a physician for over 20 years, and the first thing I was told when I came out of training is that ‘You’re not doing enough for pain,'" Lev said. "Now we’re finding out that what we are taught is wrong."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nearly 19,000 Americans died from a prescription painkiller overdose in 2014.