University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor Stefan Kertesz, M.D., has been awarded the 2017 award for Most Downloaded Manuscript by the journal Substance Abuse.
The award is given to the article with the most full-text downloads within the previous two years — October 2015 through September 2017, Volume 36.4-38.3 — according to data from the publisher, Taylor & Francis Group. With a minimum of 4,265 full-text downloads, Kertesz’s article is not only the Most Downloaded Manuscript for 2017, but it is also currently the most downloaded article of all time.
In his publication, Kertesz called for better understanding, policy and treatment for opioid addiction. Kertesz says physicians and patients are caught in a complicated balancing act between the safe prescription and use of pain medications, and the risk of opioid addiction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014 there were 28,000 Americans who died from opioid overdose. The prescribing of opioid pills by physicians such as hydrocodone for pain rose rapidly from 2001 through 2011, and Kertesz endorsed the view that this increase in prescribing helped to spur today’s epidemic.
He says this issue is more complicated than people realize, and he hopes this publication will lead to better education and legislation to help patients.