Should Hospitals Be Punished For Post-Surgical Patients’ Opioid Addiction?


Source: NPR

After two weeks of recovery from an addiction to opioids prescribed by her surgeon, Katie Herzog takes a walk with her dog, Pippen. Jesse Costa/WBUR

In April this year, Katie Herzog checked into a Boston teaching hospital for what turned out to be a nine-hour-long back surgery.

The 68-year-old consulting firm president left the hospital with a prescription for Dilaudid, an opioid used to treat severe pain, and instructions to take two pills every four hours as needed. Herzog took close to the full dose for about two weeks.

Then, worried about addiction, she began asking questions. “I said, ‘How do I taper off this? I don’t want to stay on this drug forever, you know? What do I do?’ ” Herzog says, recalling conversations with her various providers.


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