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Chronic Pain Doctors Will Meet In Cincinnati To Discuss Opioid Problem

prescription medicine bottles
David Kessler
Flickr Creative Commons

Medical professionals who help people dealing with chronic pain are gathering in Cincinnati this weekend. It will be the first meeting of the Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

The group has about 75 members, but conference coordinator Michelle Byers-Robson says 250 to 300 people are expected to attend. They'll discuss topics including the opioid epidemic.

"I see a tremendous number of physicians that are afraid to prescribe opiates to appropriate patients," she says. "Part of that is the regulation, part of that is not knowing who is going to be addicted and why. I think the third part is that the knowledge... that what are the odds that that drug is actually going to get to the appropriate patient versus the diversion issue."

Byers-Robson says she fears doctors may stop prescribing appropriate medications for some patients out of fear.

Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger is scheduled to speak about what he's seeing in his morgue.

"What's actually showing up and whether or not the intervention that people, physicians, police, and society are currently using is making any impact on what's actually showing up on his desk," says Byers-Robson. "And what we can do to actually work through treating patients and not having people die."

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.