Colorado wants to address opioid abuse, but even the advocates say the effort isn’t strong enough Doctor’s lobbied against new mandates, despite acknowledging their role in the opioid crisis | CraigDailyPress.com

Colorado wants to address opioid abuse, but even the advocates say the effort isn’t strong enough Doctor’s lobbied against new mandates, despite acknowledging their role in the opioid crisis

By JOHN FRANK | jfrank@denverpost.com |
The Denver Post

Earlier this year, in a speech to leading members of Colorado's medical community, Dr. Donald Stader confronted a blunt truth about the nation's opioid crisis.

The majority of the blame, he said, "rightfully rests with people like me – physicians."

"We as doctors really drove this epidemic; it's plain and simple," said Stader, an emergency room physician and the associate medical director at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood. "And if we are going to get out of it, we as physicians and we as a medical system need to come to grips with the harms that we've caused."

But behind the scenes, in conversations with state legislators, Stader and the Colorado Medical Society lobbied against stricter regulations on a doctor's ability to prescribe opioids – making the case that medical professionals can police themselves.

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Colorado wants to address opioid abuse, but even the advocates say the effort isn’t strong enough

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