Governor Christie: Prescription Opioid Education Is Not Working Right Now, We’ve Got To Get Better

Transcript:

Governor Christie: I think what we find is that four out of every five new heroin addicts start with prescription drugs. So people's perception that this problem is starting on street corners in places is just not right. It's where it ends often, but not where it starts. It’s starting in doctors’ offices, and you know many people are becoming addicts by following their doctor's instructions. If you look at it, the amount of opioids that are being prescribed in this country would allow every adult to be medicated 24 hours a day, for three weeks. It’s an outrageous thing, and so to the extent, and I saw the report that you’re talking about, I mean, I think to the extent that you see it falling more heavily on younger people—a lot of that comes out of injuries and yeah well, younger people and women, we’ll get to both. You know, we have to go to doctors in this country and ask them, “Why?” And I think there needs to be a lot more education for our physicians on this issue. And I think the only education they’re getting, unfortunately, are from the pharmaceutical companies that are selling this stuff. You’re not going to absolve physicians of responsibility because pharmaceutical companies are pushing them. They’re supposed to be the educated intermediary between the pharmaceutical company and the patients. I think, unfortunately, we’re proving that that’s not working right now in this country. It’s just not working. We’ve got to get better at it. You have about 142 people a day dying in America from a drug overdose. 142 people a day. I’m concerned about everybody who’s part of that statistic, and we’re going to try to make sure that our recommendations are broad and covering everybody that’s suffering because of this problem.

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