For nearly a decade I have treated Oregonians seeking care in the emergency department and in that time there has been a total transformation of the face of the opioid epidemic.

No longer are patients arriving with an unintentional overdose of their prescription medication. Physicians are nearly universally attuned to the dangers of over-prescribing opioids and have benefited from programs like the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to assure patients are not receiving multiple prescriptions for controlled substances from different providers. Despite treating patients with opioid poisonings regularly, I have not treated an unintentional opioid overdose from prescription opioids since 2019.

Alex Skog, M.D., is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and president of the Oregon Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.