Prescription Painkillers | St. Louis Public Radio

Prescription Painkillers

Painkiller
Tom Walker | Flickr | http://bit.ly/22McgqC

Raymond Tait, Ph.D., is the vice president for research at Saint Louis University and recently served on a federal committee that was one of five groups to help draft the National Institute of Health’s National Pain Strategy.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Tait joined host Don Marsh to discuss the new strategy for treating chronic pain to ensure patients get the most appropriate treatment to manage pain and avoid opioid addiction.

file photo | Jess Jaing |St. Louis Public Radio

When people overdose on heroin or prescription painkillers, their heart beat slows and they stop breathing. That means snapping them out of the overdose quickly with a drug that blocks the opiate receptors in the brain can mean the difference between life and death.

Right now most Missourians have to wait for first responders to arrive with the antidote, known as Narcan or naloxone. Under state law the public doesn't have direct access to the drug. But there’s an exception to the rule for veterans:  a prescription from the St. Louis Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Opiate addiction outreach center opens in south St. Louis

Dec 20, 2015
Members and supporters of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery chat outside the network's new outreach center on Fri. Dec. 18, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

South St. Louis has a new outreach center for people affected by addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers.

The Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery plans to offer legal help, treatment referrals and education classes out of its Dutchtown office at 4022 South Broadway.

Pills prescription drugs pharmaceuticals
ep_jhu | Flickr

A patient comes into an emergency room, clearly in pain and begging for medication. Is she physically ill or addicted to narcotics? It’s almost impossible to tell. But a new set of guidelines for emergency physicians, primary care providers and dentists may help doctors sort through those questions.

“Every day in the emergency department, I see patients who currently have or have had issues with narcotic medications,” said Dr. Matthew Treaster, an emergency physician for SSM Health.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 20, 2012 - Jason Eccker rarely counsels a cocaine addict, and he can't remember the last time he encountered someone addicted to methamphetamine. He started working at a residential treatment facility in south St. Louis about a year ago, and since then, opiate addictions have become the most common maladies among clients 25 and under.