“For Dr. Zachary Dezman, an emergency physician in this heroin-plagued city, there’s no question that offering addiction medicine to emergency room patients is the right thing to do.
“If they need addiction medicine — and many do — why wouldn’t we give it to them in the ER? We give them medicine for every other life-threatening disease.”
But elsewhere in the country, all but a few emergency doctors and hospital administrators see things differently. They worry that offering addiction services could attract even more drug-seeking patients than they already see, taking up valuable staff time and beds, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University.
Instead of providing anti-addiction medication, most hospitals typically give ER patients with drug-related conditions the telephone numbers of local treatment clinics, he said.
Despite a raging drug overdose epidemic that is killing nearly 200 Americans every day and sending thousands more to emergency rooms, the vast majority of the nation’s more than 5,500 hospitals have so far avoided offering any form of addiction medicine to emergency patients.
That’s starting to change.”
Source: PewTrusts.org – September 21, 2018