A new commission comprising city and county officials and the medical community has been formed to study the problem of opioid addiction which is hitting Texas hard, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Dr. Bryan Alsip, who is the Chief Medical Officer for University Health System, who will head the task force, says while San Antonio doesn't have the issues they are experiencing in the Midwest and in Appalachia, the region is being hurt by the crisis.
"The opioid death rate is essentially twice the national average in San Antonio," he said. "That, for me, is a cause for alarm."
"We actually have the highest rate of neonatal addiction, which is when children are addicted to opioids when they are still in the womb."
One of the goals is to educate physicians about a drug monitoring database, so they are not participating in 'doctor shopping,' where a patient travels between multiple physicians to pick up painkillers.
"From a medical and health care standpoint, and from the numbers we see in the community, this is really a public health crisis," Dr. Alsip said.