Opioid epidemic public health emergency and security threat | Local news

ByDonald L. Leech

Dec 6, 2021


The role of primary care physician opioid prescribing models is also under legal scrutiny. According to the Shore News Network, a doctor in Roanoke, Virginia, was recently “sentenced to 36 months in prison, a fine of $ 10,000 and a forfeiture judgment of $ 500,000” for illegally prescribing controlled substances to patients “outside the ordinary course of the practical profession and not for legitimate medical purposes. High doses of morphine, oxycodone and hydromorphone were among the substances controlled.”

The prosecutor overseeing the case said, “This important conviction sends a strong message that our office will continue to investigate and prosecute any member of the health care system who seeks to illegally profit from the opioid crisis. “

The impact of the current drug crisis on serving military personnel and veterans is somewhat lost in the media coverage. Little information seems to be available.

According to a 2019 report from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, “programs to reduce pain medication prescriptions for soldiers and veterans, so far appear to be working.”

“The opioid prescriptions of doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs fell by more than 40% from 2012 to 2017,” according to the authors. “This coincides with the Virginia Opioid Safety Initiative, which began in 2013 and aims to educate health care providers about the benefits and risks of prescribing opioids,” Clark Merrefield reports.