STAT

Opinion: No more ‘shortcuts’ in prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Millions of Americans need nuanced care

Opioids are sometimes the only viable option for controlling serious chronic pain. Misunderstood guidelines shouldn't keep this medicine from the people who need it.
Source: APStock

Declarations from two federal agencies offer hope — and possible action — for people in pain who have lost access to prescribed opioids. These declarations come not a moment too soon for those who have been abandoned by their health care providers or denied appropriate treatment and are suffering in real time.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Although these guidelines have been useful for many clinicians, they have been misapplied by individual prescribers, institutions, and agencies, too often causing the kind of pain they were meant to address. Writing in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, the authors of the guidelines by those seeking “shortcuts” to safer prescribing.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT3 min read
Amid Privacy Concerns, Startup Becomes First Consumer DNA Company To Offer Anonymous Sequencing
Nebula will offer anonymous testing amid public concerns about the privacy of genetic data and law enforcement use of public DNA databases to identify suspects.
STAT3 min readPolitics
Pelosi’s Drug Pricing Plan Would Let Medicare Negotiate Prices For Up To 250 Drugs
The new legislation is more aggressive than prior concepts that had circulated among lobbyists and congressional staff this year.
STAT3 min readSociety
Canada Investigating A Case Of Vaping-related Illness
Health officials in London, Ontario, are investigating a case of vaping-related illness in a youth who suffered severe respiratory problems that have been linked to e-cigarette use.