Pain recovery program director weighs in on opioid epidemic

Pain recovery program director weighs in on opioid epidemic

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Local pain recovery program director, Dr. Bennet Davis  sees many patients walk in his door.

He told Tucson News Now much of what he sees from patients stems from childhood trauma that could lead to things like depression or post traumatic stress disorder later in life.

Dr. Davis says he's seen several trauma patients prescribed opioids to treat their chronic pain, which could then lead to overdose. He suggests rather pills, they should be given another form of therapy.

As access to prescribed opioids becomes limited, he fears people may look for opioids illegally or give other drugs like heroine or fentanyl a try..

Statistics from Governor Doug Ducey's office back that up, 75% of heroine users started with painkillers.

Dr. Davis says avoiding stats like this starts by looking at chronic trauma.

"That actually is an epidemic. The CDC says there's 30 million Americans with that problem -- severe. What happens when those people are put on opioids? They're high risk," said Davis.

Dr. Davis and his colleagues are happy to see funding and resources for those who need treatment under the new Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act that was signed into law last week.

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