Make Pain a Thing of the Past – National Opioid Crisis – Physician Partners of America

Tag Archive for: National Opioid Crisis

“No way! I’m not an addict!” That’s what many patients offered naloxone by their Physician Partners of America doctors say when offered the fast-acting opioid antidote along with a prescription for pain killers. Despite being legitimately prescribed opioids for chronic pain, these patients feel stigmatized, even insulted, by the idea they could overdose.

This week, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that encouraged more people to routinely carry naloxone: “We should think of naloxone like an EpiPen or CPR,” he announced April 5. “Unfortunately, over half of the overdoses that are occurring are occurring in homes, so we want everyone to be armed to respond.”

PPOA has written prescriptions for naloxone with every opioid prescription since 2004. Even though the medication can be free or low-cost with insurance, PPOA has discovered many patients refuse prescriptions for the antidote when they pick up their pain medication prescription.

“They feel they don’t need it. As pharmacists, we try our best to stress the importance of having naloxone in the home while on opiate therapy,” said Samantha Dangler, vice president of Operations – Ancillary Division for Physician Partners of America. “With the opioid crisis at an all-time high, it is imperative that when a physician writes a prescription for an opiate and an antidote, that the patient follows through and fills the prescription for the antidote.”

While the company’s pain management providers focus on interventional – that is, non-medication – modalities to treat debilitating chronic pain, some patients come to its practices already on the drug. For those patients, naloxone medications, such as Narcan, Evzio and Naltrexone, are highly recommended until they can be weaned off the opiate.

Emergency rescue workers, police and other agencies have carried the antidote for a while. But many overdoses occur in the home. The risk of accidental overdose, even by compliant patients, is high. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 46 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids and more than 40% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription.

Read the Surgeon General’s full announcement.


At Physician Partners of America, we are as concerned as the rest of America about the escalating opioid crisis, and applaud the president for recognizing it as a national emergency. And we are proud to provide solutions to stem this epidemic.

We understand that some patients have come to rely on opioid medication to manage unbearable chronic physical pain. About 11 percent of Americans live with chronic pain. They need carefully prescribed medications just to get through each day. The stories we hear daily are heartbreaking, and we understand most are committed to taking medications as carefully prescribed.

Still, while they offer a proven and effective therapy for chronic pain management, opioids have highly addictive properties and can be dangerous in large quantities, or when mixed with certain kinds of medication.

Our safety-focused interventional pain management specialists create patient-specific treatment for medication management. We rely on several tools to help us walk the fine line between use and abuse.

Medical DNA Testing

When appropriate, our physicians find safe pain medication substitutes through pharmaceutical DNA testing. About 45 percent of response to medication is determined by a patient’s unique genome. A simple cheek swab determines what medications are safe and unsafe for an individual, and lists safer substitutes.


We utilize qualitative and quantitative drug screenings that are more sensitive and comprehensive than the average UA (urine analysis). We use them in both our Florida and Texas practices.


PPOA practices follow the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when a situation calls for prescribing opiate-based medications.

Treating Pain and Depression

The two conditions often go hand in hand. PPOA’s MoodLift program, currently available at our Texas Health and Counseling Group practice in Hurst, uses a revolutionary treatment called TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). It is a gentle, drug-free treatment with minimal side effects.

At Physician Partners of America, our foremost goal is patient safety. As interventional pain management physicians, we are passionate about pinpointing the root of each patient’s pain and using a tailored range of modalities to treat it. In doing so, we help our patients move toward a pain-free life.