Hospital cutting down on opioids in the emergency room

    A New Jersey hospital has launched an opioid-alternative program that it hopes will help cut down on the abuse of the drugs that have helped to fuel the heroin crisis.

    Doctors, law enforcement and elected officials will gather at St. Peter’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson Monday to unveil the program.

    The hospital has been using opioid alternative protocols in its emergency room since January.

    Dr. Mark Rosenberg, chairman of emergency medicine at the hospital, says the goal is to try to treat most patients without opioids before using them.

    In the first two months of the program, he says that 75 percent of the 300 patients that have gone through the ALTO program did not need opioids.

    Addiction to prescription opioids has been partially blamed for the nation’s heroin epidemic.

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