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Colorado doctors cracking down on painkiller abuse

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm •  Published: January 19, 2013

DENVER (AP) — Some emergency room doctors in the Denver area are restricting the types and amounts of addictive painkillers they administer, citing a nationwide increase in overdose deaths.

Denver Health' emergency room will stop filling long-term prescriptions for such painkillers as Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin, the Denver Post reported Saturday ( ). The hospital will also try to limit prescriptions for acute-care painkillers to small amounts to last only until patients can contact their regular physicians.

University of Colorado Health is writing policies that would end the practice of filling prescriptions that patients claim were lost or stolen.

"Ten years ago, we recognized we were undertreating pain, and now we've probably gone too far in the other direction and need to dial it back a bit," said Dr. Jason Hoppe of the university's emergency-medicine department. "But it took a while to get here, and it will take some time to get back."

Littleton Adventist Hospital has altered its policy on emergency use of the intravenous drug Dilaudid. Instead of injecting it into a vein in a few seconds with a syringe, it will be administered in a drip over an hour, said Dr. Mark Elliott, the hospital's emergency medical director.

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