Viewers respond to WBIR's focus on opioid crisis

July 3, 2017: Knox County could hit a record 300 suspected fatal drug overdoses this year, if the numbers continue to climb. During the month of July, WBIR will be focusing on the epidemic every day and the toll it is taking on East Tennessee.

WBIR's focus this month on the opioid crisis has prompted a variety of responses from the public.

We welcome your thoughts and observations! Keep them coming.

Public engagement is one way to make a difference. And with people overdosing on a daily basis now in East Tennessee -- and many often dying as a result -- starting a conversation is one way to create change.

Feel free to comment on our Facebook page about the series and what stories you think we should cover about the topic.

You're also welcome to tweet at us or send us emails at newstips@wbir.com.

READ MORE: The OD Epidemic: WBIR highlights drug overdose crisis

Here's a sampling of what you've been telling us so far.

Carol Hudson wants to see more coverage about abuse of drugs such as Adderall.

"Dr's are prescribing these drugs as a cure all to ADD and ADHD to adults but the Dr's prescribing these drugs are not qualified to prescribe them, ie general practitioners and internal physicians. Even psychiatric Dr's are unaware of the abuse. ... Pharmaceutical companies are impacting our youth and adults and ultimately our way of life."

Several people have made the point that chronic pain is real and that there are other options besides opioids to address it.

"There should be a push to decrease opioid dependence, but there should be an even bigger push on educating patients AND physicians on other ways of pain relief," wrote Cheyenne Allen, who said she's a physical therapy student.

Several people also say that pain medication does serve a purpose and can make a positive difference when administered and taken properly.

"I have chronic pain," wrote Sandy Keeling. "Doctors no longer want to prescribe the medication because of the possibility of suffering the consequences. Not all people abuse the drug."

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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