“The toll that opioid addiction has taken in the United States is staggering, said Jesse Theisen-Toupal, MD, from the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, DC.
“In 2000, there were 4400 opioid overdose-related deaths,” he reported here at the Society of Hospital Medicine 2016 Annual Meeting. “In 2013, there were 16,000.”
Despite this crisis, some hospitalists are not comfortable talking about safer ways to inject drugs with patients who come to the hospital with opioid addiction, Dr Theisen-Toupal explained.
But they need to come to terms with the fact that many people are not ready to stop opiate misuse, he pointed out. These people need to know how to safely share needles, how to sterilize surfaces, and that sterile water, or at least tap water, should be used to dissolve the drugs.
“I’ve had patients use pond water. I’ve had patients use toilet-bowl water. I had a patient actually use water from a puddle on the side of the road,” he said.”
Read more at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860323
Source: Medscape.com – March 14, 2016