John Hopkins Surgeon: ‘Opioids Are Dished Out Like Candy’

Fact checked
John Hopkins surgeon admits they dish out opioids to patients like candy

Doctors are being encouraged to prescribe opioids “like candy” according to a professor of surgery at the John Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Marty Makary claims that doctors are taught “to give every surgical patient a prescription for 30-90 opioid tablets upon discharge.” reports: Dr. Marty Makary writes in The Courier Journal:

For most of my surgical career, I gave out opioids like candy. My colleagues and I were unaware that about 1 in 16 patients become chronic users, according to new research by doctors at the University of Michigan. Even more alarming, research shows that relapse rates after opioid addiction treatment could be as high as 91 percent. In addition to expanding treatment, it’s time we address the root of the problem — overprescribing.

My own aha moment came recently after my father had gallbladder surgery and recovered comfortably at home with a single ibuprofen tablet. Wow. It directly contradicted my residency training 15 years ago, when I was taught to give every surgical patient a prescription for 30-90 opioid tablets upon discharge. Some of my mentors told me that overprescribing prevents late night phone calls asking for more. The medical community at that time ingrained in all of us that opioids were not addictive and urged liberal prescribing. So that’s exactly what we did.

Too many Americans are leaving the hospital with bottles full of opioid tablets they don’t need.

We need to take away the matches, not put out the fires.

My colleagues at Johns Hopkins and I have used data to identify the average number of opioids a doctor prescribes after a routine C-section, excluding patients with pre-existing opioid use or pain syndromes. The range is stunning. Some doctors fall within what Johns Hopkins specialists call “best practices range,” averaging three to 10 opioid tablets after C-section. Others still average 30 or 60 tablets.

Dr. Makary appeared on Fox News this morning to talk about what a scam this is:

No one needs 30 damn tablets of opioids, let alone 90. There’s no reason to hand out so many unless the goal is to get people hooked. The Sackler family, who were behind the Oxycontin scam, gave out free samples through their company Purdue Pharma just to get people hooked.

As Jason Smith notes:

Purdue even gave out free samples, a curious gesture if you truly believe your product is non-addictive. Using a patient starter coupon, the first dosing was free. By 2001, about 34,000 coupons had been redeemed. By marketing directly to the consumer, Purdue knew that after the first taste — the free taste — many would come back to their doctors demanding another prescription for OxyContin, which is exactly what happened.

They’ve known for decades this drug is insanely addictive yet the Sacklers rode this scam all the way to become one of the top 20 richest families in America according to Forbes.


  1. I had a migraine last week and didn’t go to work that day…..went over to see how my 85 yr old neighbor was he says…do you want some pills..i said oh no its ok I don’t like to take pills..I said what kind of pills have you got he says..Morphine..I say why have you got Morphine?..he says.. ohh I get them from my doctor..I say what do you take them for I didn’t know you have pain..he says..I don’t have pain..I just take them to feel good..I say..feel good what do you mean..he says..ohh if I feel a bit sad or my head is a bit confused I just take them..I often do you take them ..he says..every day… I say how many do you take.. he says.. one in the morning one in the afternoon….30mg Morphine….. so it seems this article is right on the money….. go figure…. We live in Brisbane Australia… must be a worldwide thing huh?????

  2. but i want the drugs to make me feel better in this schizo society – and now everyone wants to ban them? let me guess, squeeze a tennis ball for stress relief?

    • our classmate’s mother in law gets $64 an hour on the internet. she’s been unemployed for 12 months and the previous month her check was $13790 just working from home 3 hours each day.➤ go to ➤this ➤page

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