HATTIESBURG, Miss. - According to the Mississippi Department of Narcotics there’s a big opioid problem in the state that is killing dozens of Mississippians.
“We had 249 overdose deaths reported to the bureau of narcotics in 2017, 91 of those were from prescription pain killers,” said Mississippi Department of Narcotics Director, John Dowdy. On Friday, he paid a visit to William Carey University medical students to discuss the death and danger associated with over-prescribing drugs.
“We got to change the way of thinking for the prescribers and I think through educational efforts like this, this is a way we can change that. They need to hear the truth, big pharmacy has been lying to the medical community for years. The reality of the situation is these drugs are really addictive,”
In a lecture hall for one hour, Dowdy discussed responsible prescribing to teachers, students, nurses and doctors. He said while Americans make up 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans also consume 99.7 percent of Hydrocodone products in the world.
One students explained that he doesn't believe that doctors are trying to hurt their patients, "...there must be some outside pressure potentially on the policy side or the administration side, where satisfaction needs to go up. Or maybe, that just because they are trying to keep numbers up and that outside pressure will force physicians to not use their good judgement,” said first year William Carey medical student, Paarth Dodia.
However, Dowdy stated the pressures medical communities feel are from big pharmacies. “The pharmaceutical industry that manufactures the opioids, its about the bottom line. It’s about profits. I’ve said before and it is abundantly clear that a lot of these drugs were created there was very little research done by the pharmaceutical industry on the addictive nature of these drugs and they just started pushing it out here as a miracle drug,”
State narcotics officials said one of the best ways to avoid problems with opioids is to simply get rid of extra pills at your local law enforcement agency.