We doctors are enablers: A physician's take on the opioid epidemic

My new patient didn’t mention his back pain until the very end of the visit. As he was rising to leave, he asked casually if I could refill his Percocet. I told him I am not a pain or a back specialist and that I generally prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications for back pain — not opioids, which are addictive and do not really treat the underlying problem.

The patient persisted. He said his…

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