Addressing iatrogenic opioid addiction: A commentary on guarding the doctors

Joseph J. Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasingly, administrators address health care problems that must ultimately be resolved in the clinics by clinicians and patients. Financial considerations, health services research, and literature reviews may drive administrative interventions. A recent example involved reducing opioid dependence in chronic pain patients. Administrators and service directors developed a plan that clinicians felt risked their lives. Clinicians asked that security guards attend the care of these patients. Some clinicians and administrators viewed this as a hysterical response. This dilemma provides a useful opportunity to consider whether clinicians' responses in such a situation might be unrealistic and how such worthy goals might be safely and humanely achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-30
Number of pages3
JournalAddictive Disorders and their Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • iatrogenic addiction
  • opioid addiction
  • security


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