Cardiologists, surgeons and infectious disease doctors can fix the infection, but not the underlying problem of addiction. And when patients who are still addicted to opioids leave the hospital, many keep injecting drugs, often causing repeat infections that are more costly and more challenging to cure

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Aetna, one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, will remove a key barrier for patients seeking medication to treat opioid addiction. The change will take effect in March and apply to commercial plans, a company spokeswoman confirmed, and will make it the third major insurer to make the switch

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A common belief is that opioid addiction often begins with a single prescription from a doctor: Patients seek relief from some minor problem like a toothache or back pain, leave with a prescription, and wind up hooked. But there’s not much actual evidence tying doctors’ prescription patterns with individual patients’ long-term use of opioids or complications caused by the drugs later on

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Our Travis Rieder discusses challenges with our healthcare system and prescription opioids based on his personal experiences

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A ‘civil war’ over painkillers rips apart the medical community — and leaves patients in fear.

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Doctors Must Do More

January 10, 2017

After his harrowing opioid experience, Hopkins bioethicist Travis Rieder says doctors must do more to help patients through withdrawal

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By age 19, Charlie was serving a three-year sentence in prison on a burglary charge. He spent the last five months of his sentence in a community-based correctional facility where he took classes and completed group work to learn about addiction. The lessons stuck.

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The opioid crisis sweeps through Cherokee Nation. Dr. Anna Miller sits with her legs pulled up, boots kicked off, in an exam chair at Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital. She’s waiting for her first Suboxone patient of the day

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