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8/3/2017 9:03:00 AM
South Bend medical community, law enforcement partner against opioid epidemic
Dr. Nicole Riordan, an emergency physician at Memorial Hospital, speaks during a press conference inside Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend to discuss a new partnership between law enforcement and the medical community to fight the opioid epidemic. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
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Dr. Nicole Riordan, an emergency physician at Memorial Hospital, speaks during a press conference inside Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend to discuss a new partnership between law enforcement and the medical community to fight the opioid epidemic. Staff photo by Robert Franklin

Lincoln Wright, South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — The murder of Dr. Todd Graham over an opioid prescription dispute last week has galvanized the local medical community to seek help fighting a growing problem.

"The medical community has been working towards solutions to the opioid epidemic and in light of the recent events we realize we can no longer do this on our own," said Dr. Nicole Riordan, an emergency physician at Memorial Hospital. "We must collaborate and work together to address this growing crisis that affects us all."

Local law enforcement, medical professionals and other community organizations came together Wednesday to affirm an effort to work together to fight the area's opioid crisis. 

The partnership seeks to ensure healthcare providers are educated about appropriate prescribing practices and providers and patients are safe, Dr. Mark Fox, dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend, said.

Many groups are already doing good work to combat the epidemic, but none of them have really been talking to each other, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter, said. What the groups are trying to do now, he said, is coordinate their efforts and become more active.

Following the shooting death of Graham, Cotter said, he was contacted by more than 20 doctors wanting to know not only what they could do to assure the safety of their patients and staff, but what they could do to fix the problem.

Related Links:
• South Bend full text

Related Stories:
• Mishawaka slaying shows tough balance doctors face with opioid prescriptions
• Drugs are killing us, says Indiana Recovery Alliance director
• Gov. Holcomb discusses Sunday alcohol ban, drug epidemic

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