Recap | To the Point Luncheon Examines Opioids Epidemic
From left, Scott Orr, Fidelity Investments; Dr. Paul Hain, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas; Barclay Berdan and David Tesmer, Texas Health Resources; and Kristin Jenkins DFW Hospital Council Foundation
Opioids and opioid addiction gained national attention during the past few months following a Food and Drug Administration report on the alarming increase in the epidemic of prescription painkillers in the U.S. This report came weeks before pop star Prince died from what has been cited as an opioid overdose. Realizing that this issue impacts all aspects of society, the North Texas Commission partnered with the Dallas/Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation on a joint TO THE POINT Presented by Fidelity Investments.
The luncheon, held July 15, featured a panel discussion with Barclay Berdan, President of Texas Health Resources, and Dr. Paul Hain, Chief Medical Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. David Tesmer, Senior Vice President, Community Engagement and Advocacy for Texas Health Resources and a former Chairman of the North Texas Commission moderated the panel.
Kristin Jenkins, President of the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation and Senior Vice President of the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council, opened the conversation with sobering facts about the U.S. opioid epidemic. In 2012, 59 million opioid prescriptions were given – more than one for every American adult. Two million people in the U.S. were prescription opioid addicts in 2014, and 25 percent of patients using prescription opioids struggle with addiction.
During the panel discussion, Mr. Berdan discussed the impact this has on the healthcare network in North Texas, and Dr. Hain described the anatomy of addiction and explaining how patients go from pain management to addiction.