Montgomery, AL, August 3, 2018 – Raycom Media’s Investigate TV will air a documentary focused on the opioid epidemic and the doctors who prescribe them. “Licensed to Pill” will air this Saturday from 7p.m. to 8p.m. on WSFA 12 News.
“Licensed to Pill” is an investigative special that exposes doctors who seek to profit by prescribing addictive opioids to patients. In 2013, Alabama doctors wrote 141.1 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons (approximately 6.8 million prescriptions)—the highest prescribing rate in the country and almost twofold greater than the average U.S. rate of 79.3. Doctors prescribe opioids to patients to treat moderate to severe pain, but when misused they can have serious risks and side effects. Misuse of prescription drugs means taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain; or taking a medication to get high.
Opioid misuse and addiction can have serious medical consequences. Increases in opioid misuse and addiction over the past 3 years are reflected in increased emergency room visits, treatment admissions for opioid addiction use and overdose deaths associated with prescription drugs. In 2016, there were 343 opioid-related overdose deaths in Alabama—a rate of 7.5 deaths per 100,000 persons. The number of deaths related to opioids included 157 related to synthetic opioids, 126 attributed to heroin and 124 related to prescription opioids.
Today, the day before “Licensed to Pill” airs, the Council on Substance Abuse-NCADD (COSA-NCADD) will hold a phone bank at WSFA to help individuals with opioid and other substance abuse issues access available resources. Many of those answering the helpline will be peer recovery support specialists (PRSS). These are individuals who have personally experienced alcohol and substance abuse issues, but who are now in recovery and able to share hope to others going through the same thing. The phone bank will be open from 11a.m. until 6:30p.m. COSA-NCADD’s opioid helpline, 1-877-HELP-4AL (1-877-435-7425) is now open.
The COSA-NCADD opioid helpline provides confidential assistance for those who need help themselves, and guidance for those seeking help for loved ones.
Additionally, COSA-NCADD will be on hand to help individuals and their families on Saturday from 6pm to 10pm on and Sunday from 8am to 6pm at the HOPE Recovery Community Center. Recently opened, the Center is a sanctuary anchored in the community to put a face on recovery and serve as a physical location where individuals can participate in various recovery activities (i.e. housing and employment assistance, meetings, life skills and social/recreation).
“People are addicted to opioids or know someone addicted and don’t know where and how to get help,” says Ricky Wilson, Recovery Support Services Coordinator. “This Licensed to Pill special is going to open up a lot of eyes and help people understand that there is indeed an opioid crisis and it’s time to do something. We are ready and available to provide assistance to those seeking help on the phone or at the HOPE Recovery Community Center.”
Tune in to “Licensed to Pill” this Saturday from 7p.m. to 8p.m. on WSFA 12 News.