(NBC News) Doctor Todd Graham was laid to rest in Indiana Monday. Police say he was murdered for refusing to give a patient powerful painkillers she’d requested.
The doctor’s death is a grim reminder of a nation addicted to opioids.
“This is probably the worst drug situation in our country in decades if not a century,” says Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
A New report from the institute that in 2015 more than a third of American adults took a prescription painkiller.
That’s 92 million people.
Of those, nearly 12 million said they’d “misused” the drugs by taking more than they were prescribed, using them to get high or taking someone else’s pills.
“Almost half of people that misuse these medications get them from family and friends. That’s a bit of a surprise,” Compton says.
Doctors say opioids can and should be used for people with severe diseases and to ease pain in end-of-life care, but for pain associated with minor ailments experts say the minimum number of painkillers should be prescribed for as short a time as possible.
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