New guidlelines to curb doctors' drug abuse - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New guidlelines to curb doctors' drug abuse

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Doctor Stephen Loyd was in the last year of his residency when he started taking prescription pain killers that were leftover from a dental procedure.

"The anxiety started to build up and really became the only way I could deal with the pressures of my life," Dr. Loyd said.

His story is part of an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. according to the American College of Physicians. The ACP issued a list of new policies regarding prescription drugs. It suggests doctors first consider non-addictive pain killers. When addictive narcotics must be prescribed, doctors should carefully think about the dosage.

The ACP also recommends doctors screen patients for risk of addiction and that patients agree, in writing, they will do as the doctor says.

"Follow the prescription as written, not sort of take on the role yourself of prescriber and physician," said Sean Clarkin with Partnership for a Drug-free America

The ACP says patients should know, drugs are not intended to eliminate 100 percent of the pain. "If that's what the patient's mindset is he's likely going to come back and say I wasn't getting enough relief -- and I doubled the prescription," said the ACP's Dr. Molly Cooke.

Dr. Loyd received treatment and resumed his medical career. He has been drug-free now for 10 years. "The reason I share my story is to let folks know -- you can get better," he said.

And he works with others now to help them overcome their addictions.  

Alison Harmelin - CBS News.

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