Rhode Island Hospital and the entire Lifespan network have announced new guidelines for prescribing painkillers in their emergency rooms. ER doctors are trying to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction.
Recently, I reported on Rhode Island's fledgling prescription drug monitoring program (listen to that story here). It's a program that's supposed to spot troubling trends in prescription drug misuse. And as you might know, there's plenty of trouble to spot in Rhode Island, where prescription drug overdose death rates have soared along with rates of addiction to narcotic painkillers.