painkillers | Nashville Public Radio

painkillers

David Goehring / via Flickr

Doctors in Tennessee are putting patients on fewer addictive painkillers. An annual survey finds that opioid prescriptions dropped 8.9 percent in Tennessee last year, but the state still stands out for its high rate of prescribing.

courtesy Sen. Lamar Alexander

This week, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander launched the first hearings on a sweeping response to the opioid crisis. Alexander chairs the Senate's health committee.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam is headed into the final months of his time in office, and he’s decided that combating the opioid epidemic will be his last big legislative push. Haslam started the session by endorsing a proposal that would impose stricter rules on prescribing the painkillers. Not until last week did that measure begin moving forward. It was a tougher fight than some expected.

frankieleon via Flickr

After weeks of backroom talks, Tennessee lawmakers have landed on a compromise that could establish some of the toughest rules on opioid prescribing in the country. Legislators acknowledge they're creating headaches in the process, but they say overdose deaths call for drastic action.

Jed Dekalb / courtesy UT System

The University of Tennessee is making opioid research and awareness a system-wide priority. The commitment came during the annual "state of UT" address this week.

courtesy of CDC

Vanderbilt researchers have published a study that shows opioid painkillers — particularly in their most potent forms — put patients at significantly higher risk of deadly infections. The findings were released Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

courtesy TMA / via Facebook

The Tennessee Medical Association says when it comes to opioids, a doctor still knows best. The lobbying group of 9,000 physicians released suggested revisions to Governor Bill Haslam's opioid bill late Friday. The specific language of the proposal had only become public this week.

Anne Rayner / Vanderbilt

Governor Bill Haslam's 10-point plan to attack the opioid epidemic announced this week puts some new focus on Tennessee's medical schools. On Wednesday, he named a 19-member commission to develop a list of related skills for the next generation of doctors.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Creating a 500-bed treatment facility for addicted inmates, limiting the duration of new opioid prescriptions to just a few days, and putting more drug enforcement officers on the streets.

Those are some of the ideas Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is pitching to combat the opioid crisis  — which despite past efforts, has continued to worsen.

Jiselle Macalaguin / KOMU via Flickr

This week, Tennessee's Medicaid program began enforcing a limit on first-time opioid prescriptions. TennCare patients can only get enough pills for five days. Legislative leaders say similar restrictions are in the works to regulate painkiller prescribing for all Tennesseans.

Pages