August 21st 2017
It happens all the time at one of Palmetto Health’s five emergency rooms in Columbia, S.C., says emergency medicine physician Tripp Jennings. A patient comes in complaining of pain somewhere, and the attending physician types his name into a computer database and discovers he’s already been prescribed opioids—a lot of them. On further questioning, the patient cops to struggling with addiction. So instead of opioids, the patient gets a different kind of medication, or in some cases is sent to drug counseling.