Publication date: Mar 08, 2019
Two interconnected epidemics are affecting the United States right now: opioid abuse and chronic pain.
Because doctors have to prescribe opioids to help deal with chronic pain, the patients are at risk of its potential adverse effects.
Sean Mackey, MD, Stanford’s chief of pain medicine, says that although there are no easy answers, it is possible to address both chronic pain and opioid abuse at the same time.
The number of people with chronic pain complicates the effort to curb the opioid epidemic.
Mackey and Kao said that restricting access to opioids may seem like a good idea, but it prevents people with chronic pain from refilling their opioid prescriptions.
I’ve prescribed opioids for chronic pain and seen that they can work long term.
Mackey then referenced the United States’ National Pain Strategy, a host of tactics outlining solutions to the opioid epidemic.
It can go a long way if a patient’s acute pain can be treated before it develops into chronic pain.
-If we address the goals in the National Pain Strategy,” he said, -it’s going to have a big impact on the dual crises of pain and prescription opioid abuse. “
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