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Home > Local > EAST TENNESSEE CONFERENCE HOPES TO FIND SOLUTION TO OPIOID EPIDEMIC

EAST TENNESSEE CONFERENCE HOPES TO FIND SOLUTION TO OPIOID EPIDEMIC

It was the largest-ever gathering of medical professionals and community leaders in East Tennessee focused specifically on the opioid epidemic. And it convened in Lenoir City on Thursday.

More than 300 doctors, law-enforcement officers and addiction specialists gathered at the second annual East Tennessee Opioid Conference to discuss ways to prevent people from drug-overdose deaths.

Eric Penniman, the executive medical director of the Summit Medical Group, said the community needs to work together on finding solutions to the crisis. “There’s clearly a lot more that needs to be done,” he said, adding the peak per-capita rate of opioid deaths in the U.S. is right here in East Tennessee.

One solution is for doctors to prescribe smaller doses of opioids for injury victims. A cited statistic showed 20 percent of people who take opioids for 10 days are likely to continue long-term use.

Another is to seek alternatives to opioids for pain management include virtual-reality treatment, sound therapy and meditation.

They also focused on education. The reasoning there is if doctors prescribe fewer opioids, the outcome is fewer people may become addicted.

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1 Response

  1. Loni Daniels

    I think the age group of the over dose victims is something that needs to be addressed and if the opioids were bought or prescribed to each individual. I believe the senior generation and people that live with constant pain are going to be punished for other peoples mistakes and many young children also pay a price. I don’t have the answer, but I do think that the whole picture is not being looked at.

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