More training for doctors to reduce opioid abuse

YUMA, Ariz. – Current opioid monitoring and education have failed to reduce drug abuse and is causing 30,000 deaths a year according to

The United States government is requesting $1.1 billion to support local and state drug treatment programs. Jacob Schwarz a pharmacist at Yuma Regional Medical center says some new rules should be implemented but the ones who abuse medication are ruining it for patients who need the medication.

“There are many patients out there who have chronic pain who need these medications in their daily lives and a few people out there give it a bad reputation. It creates a lot of hassles for those who truly need these medications,” says Schwarz.

New guidelines from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention advice doctors to limit opioid prescriptions to only three-day supplies for patients with severe pain. Schwarz says the new rule could create a problem for patients.

“Asking a patient to go back to their CVS or Walgreen’s or Fry’s every three days to get their prescription filled, it might seem a little cumbersome,” says Schwarz.

The new regulations could help prevent drug abuse but there is no way to get rid of it completely. 

“Yuma, like any other community, you’re going to always have the run of the mil. There is always going to be a person somewhere out there who is trying. I can’t say Yuma is going to be immune to it,” says Schwarz.

Saturday April 30th, is National Prescription Take Back Day where you can drop off any expired or leftover prescription medication, except needles, to prevent others from taking or abusing dangerous pills.  

“The idea is to reduce that type of event from happening and by properly disposing medications in a timely manner, we can hopefully prevent that from happening,” says Schwarz. 

The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office station in the Foothills and the Yuma Police Department will be taking prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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