PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – According to a former Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent, 40 percent of Americans use opioids, which are highly addictive.
The Stutman Switalski Group partnered with Emerald Coast Medical Association, a group of physicians and speakers met on October 14, 2017 in Panama City to discuss the opioid crisis and what they can do to help put an end to it.
Robert Stutman was one of the keynote speakers at the opioid crisis conference held at the Holiday Inn in Panama City Saturday. He’s a former DEA Special Agent, at one time he was the head of the DEA’s largest office in New York. Pablo Escobar once had targeted him for assassination.
During his speech, he said he’s never seen anything like the opioid crisis in America.
“Went through crack, went through heroin, and the opioid epidemic that we are in now puts all of those to shame. We are now in the middle of the worst drug epidemic we’ve ever had in the United States and it’s literally changing our culture,” Stutman said.
Another keynote speaker at the conference said physicians need to be educated on the crisis as well.
“They need to inform their patients, tell them the risks and the benefits. Then two they need to monitor their patients, there’s nothing in their oath that says they get to treat one disease and cause another. They need to document that they’re doing so,” Judge Jodi Debbrecht Switalski, a specialist in substance abuse, said.
There were eleven speakers from all over the country at the nine-hour conference discussing how to best combat the ongoing crisis.
“There is a use, I mean it is a very important drug, so we should use it appropriately in appropriate settings and then control it. Properly controlling it, how to control it when we give it out. What is the way of monitoring it if we have to give it?” Dr. Ata Ulhaq, a keynote speaker at the conference, said.
Stutman told us the average opioid users are middle-aged white men and women.