The Opioid epidemic in Southwest Louisiana

Published: Jun. 12, 2017 at 9:25 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2017 at 11:58 AM CDT
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SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Federal agencies and lawmakers fight back on America's Opioid epidemic.

Just days ago, the Food and Drug Administration requests Endo Pharmaceuticals remove the Opioid "Opana ER" from the market.

A statement from the FDA says, "We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product's risk outweighs its benefits not only for its intended patient population, but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse."

Governor Edwards signing House Bill 192 today is good news to Frank Miller, CEO of New Beginnings, a medical detox unit in Lake Charles.

"I was very excited," says Miller. "It's a great step, but when you take a look at the whole thing, it's like trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose."

As for the timing..

"Opioids are in the news now honestly five years too late."

Dr. Christina Jones has worked along the East Coast and now sees the opioid trend hitting Southwest Louisiana.

"I worked in addiction medicine in the Northeast and what I saw happening up there is now happening here."

According to Jones, one of the misconceptions is..

"Chronic long-term opioid use doesn't actually help chronic pain. Honestly, I think taking off these long term opiates that we know don't work for long-term chronic pain anyway do need to be taken off the market," said the Tulane grad.

When asked if Southwest Louisiana will recover from opioid addiction, Miller says..

"Define recover."

For addiction centers in Lake Charles, click HERE.

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