MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The United States continues to see increases in drug overdoses. Alabama, although showing a slowdown in this area, ranks No. 1 in the country for pain killer prescriptions.
A new CDC study finds that Alabama is the top painkiller prescribing state with 143 prescriptions for every one 100 people. You read that right - 143 prescriptions for every 100 people.
The lowest prescribing state to put things in perspective is Hawaii. Alabama ranks three times higher than the Aloha state.
One of the problems is how doctors check for pain. Currently doctors ask patients to rate their pain from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of pain. Patients addicted to these pain killers are no doubt telling their health professionals that their pain is listed at a 10.
A few years back, the state of Florida recognized this was becoming a problem, and they quickly addressed it by putting regulations in place and training to make sure doctors were asking the right questions to determine pain and not to enable it.
I know this issue was addressed Friday at the policy summit entitled: The Opioid Crisis in Alabama: from Silos to Solutions. I can only hope a plan was discussed to get us off the top of this list and move us to the bottom.