Leading Spanish cancer doctor says opioid epidemic in Spain on scale of US is ‘unlikely’

‘UNLIKELY’: The US is currently in the grip of an opioids addiction crisis. Photo credit: Shutterstock

A LEADING Spanish cancer doctor has said that it is “unlikely” that the country will see an opioid epidemic similar to the one which has broken out in the US.

Jorge Contreras, vice president of the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology (SEOR), said Spain’s national health system had controls in place on medication that would prevent an addiction crisis.

Dr Contreras, who also works at Malaga City’s Carlos Haya Regional Hospital, added opium-based drugs led to a “significant reduction” in pain for cancer patients.

“We cannot fall into alarmism or the ‘opiophobia’. Our national health system is nothing like that of the US,” Dr Contreras said.

The doctor’s comments come as almost 49,070 people died due to opioid consumption in the US in 2017, according to the latest available figures. The country’s surgeon general has declared the situation a “crisis”.  

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