Dr. Poulter is taking steps to reduce opioid need in patients to combat addiction

Article By: Stephanie Rodriguez, WEEK 25 News

The Centers for Disease and Control reports that in 2017 over 46,000 overdoses were related to opioids, just one statistic that has a local surgeon changing the way he handles pain management.

Dr. Jeffrey Poulter says that when the opioid epidemic was officially declared he had already been working to find other ways to help his clients post-surgery, but that the numbers show how large the impact is and they urged him to do more.

“[According to a 2015 study] 142 patients die daily, so for three weeks, it’s like having a 9/11 every three weeks. So the opioid crisis is real and surgeons need to address that,” he said.

As a plastic surgeon, Poulter says he only does elective surgery and to help ease his patients’ pain he uses a local anesthetic before making any incisions.

“I’ll inject the area I’m working on at the time they’re in the operating room and when they wake up they don’t have that postoperative pain. Now I’ll just give them three grams of Tylenol,” he explained.

The anesthetic, he says, helps him be proactive when it comes to pain.

“There is that gateway theory that says if you can block that pain gate before it gets to the brain it doesn’t see it. Then you start your case and the brain doesn’t establish that pathway,” he said.

For the founder of the Peoria Recovery Project Sharon Harkless, who lost her son to an addiction that began with opioids, looking for alternative pain medicine is the right step.

“My son got started with his addiction through the pills and eventually it moved from the pills to heroin use. They were messing with it, you know recreational use and then all of a sudden it just turned into an addiction,” she said.

“If we can move toward less opioid use and prescribe it less I think it can be huge in slowing down this epidemic.”

Poulter says that only nine percent of patients who are prescribed opioids dispose of them properly which in turn can contribute to the epidemic.


If you are in the Peoria area and need to dispose of prescription drugs you can visit the following locations: 

Walgreen co. 221 N Western Ave, West Peoria, IL, 616041

American pharmacy of IL inc.311 N Western Ave, Peoria, IL 616041

OSF St. Francis Medical Center 530 NE Glen Oak Ave, Peoria, IL, 616372

Bond Drug Company of Illinois, l.L.C.2515 N Knoxville, Ave, Peoria, IL, 616043

Bond Drug Company of Illinois, l.L.C.3524 N University, Peoria, IL, 616044

Walgreen Co. 2324 W War Memorial Drive, Peoria, IL, 616145


If you are in the Twin-Cities you and need to dispose of prescription drugs you can visit the following locations:

Highland Park CVS, l.L.C. 1701 Fort Jesse Rd., Normal, IL, 61761

Meijer Great Lakes Limited Partnership #207 1900 E College Ave, Normal, IL, 61761

Bond Drug Company of Illinois, l.L.C. 1525 N Veterans Pkwy, Bloomington, IL. 61704

St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical 2200 E Washington, Bloomington, IL, 61701

Highland Park CVS, l.L.C. 1130 S. Veterans Pkwy, Bloomington, IL 61704

SOURCE: https://week.com/news/bloomington-normal-news/2019/04/29/a-local-doctor-is-taking-steps-to-reduce-opioid-need-in-patients-to-combat-addiction/