Opioid crisis main topic at Abilene seminar

Abilene leaders discussed how to end the opioid crisis.

ABILENE, TX - Becky Mahan is a pharmacist.

She is hoping to put a stop to what the White House has described as an opioid emergency.

It’s the misuse and addiction to opioids.

For the third time, the Mental Health Symposium was held at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Abilene.

Mahan said lots of people are affected by the epidemic.

“We’re also talking about the people that kind of get left behind because of this, for people that have legitimate pain,” Mahan said.

Mahan said laws limit the access to opioid pain medication.

“Someone was saying sometimes I feel like a criminal when I have to get it because in order to fill it they’re going to drug test me,” Mahan said.

It’s become harder for those who need pain relief.

“Three day prescriptions at once. So just three days’ worth of prescription. So think about if you’re having to do that for the whole entire year, that’s over 100 times you’re going to have to go to a pharmacy within a year,” Mahan said.

They’re commonly given to patients after surgery or to people who have chronic diseases.

Community leaders are working on finding solutions.

“We do have a chronic pain and support group, and so that’s one thing that we do have already in town,” Mahan said.

Getting rid of extra drugs can also help.

“You know doctors, you’ve had surgery, they’ll give you a 30 day supply but you only need that medication for three days,” Mahan said.

© 2017 KXVA-TV


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