News

WUNC on the patients, prescribers and politics of the opioid crisis

WUNC continues its great coverage of the opioid crisis this week with both a piece on Gov. Roy Cooper looking at its devastation first-hand in my old stomping grounds of High Point and a piece looking at how and why opioids are prescribed and how law enforcement deals with their abuse.

From Don Teater, a family medicine doctor who practices in Waynesville, NC featured in one of the stories:

“I think it’s important that they find a physician or prescriber who does understand pain and can really determine what their pain is … For most people that are suffering from their chronic pain there’s probably a significant element of central sensitization. And this central sensitization, again, means the brain wiring has changed in a way that their emotions, their thoughts, their fears, their memories – all these kind of play into how much pain they feel. So we need to be identifying that and addressing that. And so I really firmly believe that the cornerstone of treatment for chronic pain needs to be the behavioral therapist. Because functional MRI studies have shown that they can actually start to change that wiring to make it back to normal in the brain. So they help actually fix the problem.”

From reporter Jason Debruyn on Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion programs (LEAD):

“Fayetteville is doing it, Wilmington, Waynesville is doing it. And basically what this is is  … If you are exchanging sex for drugs, or if you are a low-level drug user yourself, instead of arresting you, throwing you in jail and trying to prosecute you, what police officers are now encouraged to do is to take you to a treatment center and have you seek help for your drug addiction … We talked a little bit about the crack epidemic that was, what, 30 years ago. That was very strong arrest, put in jail and try to tackle the situation that way. This is much different, where it’s more coming to the user and saying: Hey, how can we help you? What are things we can do to get you to step down your use even if we don’t get you to quit completely right away. How can we step down your drug abuse?”

Check Also

UNC-CH waiving tuition and fees for nurse refresher program in reaction to COVID-19 pandemic

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Dizni DeBerry, a Hillside High School senior in Durham, vividly remembers the week before schools cl [...]

A disciplined collegiate rower, Lindsay York is used to a structured, yet social life. Last fall, th [...]

WASHINGTON — It’s National Census Day. Organizations across the country are marking the occasion wit [...]

Criminal justice advocates and family members of incarcerated individuals have been warning state an [...]

It’s the sacred right of all Americans to complain about their government – even if they do so in de [...]

The post Safety net. appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

As we all confront the ripple effects of the an unprecedented pandemic throughout North Carolina, we [...]

Now is no time for North Carolina to double town on "fiscal restraint" As the health pande [...]