By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There was an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine that got me thinking today. It talked about the fact that doctors are unintentionally becoming drug pushers. It all has to do with pain medication and abuse.
Most of us think about drug abuse in terms of crack cocaine or heroin. But some of the leading drugs of abuse are pain medications.
Here is where it gets serious. There are three sets of pain patients: those who truly need treatment for a painful condition, those who are addicted to pain medication and those who are getting a prescription with the goal of filling it and selling the drugs on the street.
Doctors are often the victims of doctor shopping and a new weapon, bad ratings on online doctor evaluation sites from people who did not get the drugs.