AJC editor appears on Dr. Oz today to discuss opioid investigation

11:53 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 Local

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s national investigation of doctors who overprescribe opioids will be featured on today’s episode of the Dr. Oz show.

AJC Editor Kevin Riley will appear as a guest on today’s show to discuss the newspaper’s groundbreaking series. The investigation found that America’s doctors continue to flood the nation with opioids, years after drug companies admitted that opioids were highly addictive and years after overdoses started decimating rural communities. The entire nation is now dealing with a public health crisis related to opioid addiction.

The AJC’s national investigation, which was headlined “Healers or Dealers,” found that, since 2016, more than 1,000 doctors have been brought before medical boards for improperly prescribing opioids to patients. In that same time, nearly 150 have been in federal court on criminal charges related to prescription opioids.

The investigation found that some doctors improperly prescribe for cash, some for sex and some to keep their struggling practices afloat. Many leave a trail of dead patients connected to their prescription pads.

The AJC series also examined how Georgia handles doctors who improperly prescribe. Another part of the series took a close look at whether well-meaning doctors are overprescribing opioids, given the current research on the safety and effectiveness of the pain medications.

In addition to the AJC’s Kevin Riley, today’s Dr. Oz episode also includes a doctor who was busted for improper prescribing to get cash to fuel his own addiction. The program airs today on Channel 2 WSB-TV at 3 p.m.