Narcotics users and opioid takers could be screened during doctor visits


An independent panel of experts is recommending--for the first time -- clinicians screen their adult patients for illicit drug use, including the misuse of prescription medications.

Should doctors make drug screening a routine part of checkups? Is this an overreaction?

We're not talking about someone who goes to Jamaica on vacation and smokes pot, this is the person who chronically uses opioids.

KTRH medical expert Dr. Joe Galati said it also isn't meant for people using opioids under a doctor's control for legitimate reasons.

"Testing people is very minimally invasive and the bottom line is it's going to identify people and get them the help they need," said Galati.

He said the drug tests could potentially save a life.

"I wouldn't say it's overreaction, considering the amount of people that are involved in opioid misuse," said Galati.

He added it's a whole separation discussion who will pay and if insurance companies will cover it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, including legal opioids.

hydrocodone is an analgesic prescribed as potent pain medication

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