Oregon has adopted new federal standards for the prescribing of opioids.
More people die from drug overdoses every year in Oregon than in car crashes. And 43 percent of those overdose deaths are associated with opioids prescribed by a doctor.
State epidemiologist Dr. Katrina Hedberg said doctors and the public need to be educated on using fewer opioids, for shorter periods of time.
“It is not that we want people to be in pain. It is that we have one tool and there need to be a variety of tools that are used to address chronic pain.”
She said patients need to look to tools like acupuncture, exercise, and learn to function with low levels of pain.
The state task force on opioids will continue to meet into the summer to consider other issues, like how to deal with pain from dental work.