January 6, 2016
Joshua Lynch, DO, is an emergency medicine physician in Erie County, New York, where 188 people died last year from opiate overdoses.
When he cares for patients who’ve overdosed, Dr. Lynch, who was recently profiled in the Buffalo News, takes the time to talk to them about how they started using drugs, how they became addicted and how they ended up in the emergency room.
These conversations help Dr. Lynch connect with patients. He also shares insights from them with local leaders who are working to address the opiate crisis.
In the article, Dr. Lynch explains the power of asking patients to share their stories of drug addiction. “I ask them, ‘How did you get yourself into this situation?’ Most of them are very willing to explain, in dirty detail, how this started and what happened,” he says.
“Nobody wants to be doing this. Everybody wants to stop. They understand that the risk of them dying is pretty high … That’s how the discussion starts.”