Prescription drug abuse kills 40 people every day across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control. While most of the deaths are in people who obtain the drugs illegally, away from the practice of medicine, many doctors are wrestling with appropriate management of patients with intractable, chronic pain. How high a dose is too high? And when is it dangerous?

One had been to jail and nursed a gunshot wound. Another had run away from home as a teenager and lost her children to foster care. A third was struggling with the death of her daughter and had a history of alcohol abuse.

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Quick Read: Northern California Doctor Under Fire for Prolific Painkiller Prescriptions 11 July,2012Lisa Aliferis


Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED’s State of Health blog. Since 2011, she’s been writing and editing stories for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years (more than we can count) producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco’s CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. Her work has been honored for many awards. Most recently she was a finalist for “Best Topical Reporting” from the Online News Association. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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