WMCHealth News: Stemming the Tide of Opioid Addiction

WMCHealth News: Stemming the Tide of Opioid Addiction


According to the CDC opioid overuse is
responsible for 91 deaths per day across the United States and the Hudson Valley
has not been spared by the crisis. The WMCHealth Network welcomed over 120
medical professionals to Good Samaritan Hospital for a conference on opioid
addiction which event organizer Dr. Stephen Ferrando hopes will help doctors
understand their role in the epidemic and recognize steps they can take to
solve the problem. As we’re trying to do we’re really trying to reeducate
physicians who unfortunately have been the unexpected source of much
of the problem through their own prescribing practices to be more
mindful to see the real true needs for opioid prescriptions and the limitations.
Attendees also heard the human side of opioid addiction Ken Goldberg lost his
son Kyle to an accidental overdose in 2004 There are words that I use
then and I still use today about things like shame. How could I let this
happen? How could this possibly happen to someone that’s in an everyday
community who was performing and seemingly a high level? Did I fail somewhere along the way? Ken believes that through de-stigmatizing
opioid addiction and working in collaboration with the medical community
real progress can be achieved. I think short-term success is measured
in in small steps so I think that there’s a recognition nationally now as
well as locally that this is a crisis and it’s something that needs to be
dealt with. Long-term obviously the goal is to have a large decrease certainly
in the level of addiction and and even more important in the level of
overdosing that’s going on today. The conference also included a demonstration
of Narcan, a nasal spray that can be used to halt the immediate effects of an
opioid overdose. Dr. Ferrando explained its critical role in saving
lives. It can rapidly reduce the opioid intoxication and bring them back. The
important thing though is that’s not the end of it. That only lasts for a
minutes so emergency medical services need to be activated. They can come and
reinforce the medication and importantly get the person to the hospital. 2
additional opioid conferences are scheduled this year one at Westchester
Medical Center in Valhalla and another at MidHudson Regional Hospital in
Poughkeepsie. In Suffern for the Westchester Medical Center Health
Network I’m Geoff Brault

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