• By Rhoda Madson

Pain. Pill. Problem. Use and overuse of prescription painkillers in Minnesota

August 25, 2015

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic experts participated in the Minnesota Moving Forward Together conference  examining the use and overuse of opioids and painkillers in Minnesota. Michael Hooten M.D., a board-certified pain medicine specialist, and Keith Berge M.D., an anesthesiologist – both from Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus – attended the conference in Minneapolis, Tuesday Aug. 25.pain. pill. problem. logo for moving forward conference

Dr. Hooten contributed to a panel discussion on the history of prescribing, the physiological mechanism that links overuse to dependency, the new state Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program and current practice around opioid prescribing. He spoke about the role of psychiatric comorbidities, such as depression and anxiety, and says the prevalence of these conditions is high among people with chronic pain. “My overall approach is to treat the underlying psychiatric illness directly, then trend away or taper the opioid.”  Dr. Hooten was lead author a recent study that found that 1 in 4 people prescribed opioids progressed to longer-term prescriptions.

Journalists: B-roll of the event and sound bites with Drs. Hooten and Berge are available in the downloads.

Media Contact: To schedule an interview with Drs. Hooten or Berge, contact Rhoda Madson at 507-284-5005 or newsbureau@mayo.edu.

Dr. Berge participated in a panel discussion examining treatment of opioid addiction. The panel addressed the data and latest evidence about effective treatments of opioid addiction, and obstacles to overcome.

Dr. Berge is chair of Mayo Clinic’s Medication Diversion Prevention Committee, which oversees Mayo’s ongoing effort to prevent the diversion of controlled substances from the workplace, and identify and respond quickly when such diversion is detected.

Mayo Clinic was one of the conference sponsors. Other organizers and participants included the U.S. Department of Justice, Minnesota Department of Human Services, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Office of Gov. Mark Dayton, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

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