A new STAT-Harvard poll finds bipartisan support for new federal guidelines advising physicians to give patients with acute pain no more than a three-day supply of opioid painkillers. Seven in 10 Americans support the guidelines, which also advise doctors to try other treatment options before issuing prescriptions. About half of those surveyed believe that prescription painkillers are an extremely or very serious problem in their state. One in three of those surveyed held doctors responsible for the nation’s opioid epidemic—about as much as hold individual users responsible.
Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who oversaw the poll, told STAT in a March 17, 2016 article that the consensus for government action on opioid addiction was remarkable. He said, “Republicans and Democrats can talk about this together. They can move on legislation.”