New drug may curb US opioid crisis, doctors say

New drug may curb US opioid crisis, doctors say
(Source: KAIT-TV)

(KAIT/NBC) - The country's opioid crisis has many doctors examining the number of powerful painkillers they prescribe.

What often begins after a minor surgery or procedure can also lead to an addiction.

Recently, Chase Pruitt's team at Omaha Oral Surgery drastically reduced their amount of opioid prescriptions.

The results of their "Nopioid" initiative are better than they expected, thanks to the use of a new drug called Exparel.

"We've been able to cut down our narcotic prescribing in our office by about 95%," Dr. Pruitt said. "We don't have to deal with the risks of having extra pain pills laying around the house that friends and relatives can have access to."

It's helped Dr. Pruitt go from prescribing about 30,000 opioids a year to only 1,500.

He thinks that within the next five to ten years, new drugs like Exparel could replace opioids for certain procedures.

Hear one patient's story about the transition by clicking here.

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