Doctors are a leading supplier of prescription pain killers to people who are at the highest risk of overdosing, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most people who abuse prescription opioid drugs get them from family or friends.
However, researchers from the CDC have found that the highest risk users often get their drugs from their doctors with a valid prescription.
The highest risk people get their drugs through their own prescriptions twenty-seven percent of the time.
"Many abusers of opioid pain relievers are going directly to doctors for their drugs," says CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. He says health care providers need to screen for abuse risk and check past records through state prescription drug monitoring programs.
Dr. Len Paulozzi of the CDC says, "The use of opioid pain relievers has been increasing since the early 1990s and that increase has been driven by a change in the attitude of health care providers about the effectiveness of those kind of painkillers."
Dr. Frieden says , "It's time we stop the source and treat the troubled."