Wednesday, September 30, 2015
US Opioid Epidemic Fueled by Prescribing Practices
The most important step toward reversing the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse is to stop prescribing opioids for the wrong indications.
Recent reports have consistently concluded that there are insufficient data on the long-term effectiveness of prescription opioids to support their use in the treatment of chronic pain, but there is clear evidence of a dose-dependent risk for serious harms.
The biggest triggers to the initiation and perpetuation of prescription opioid abuse comes from their use for the treatment of nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders, especially chronic low back pain, headaches, and disorders such as fibromyalgia.
Although there is no proven benefit for their use in these disorders, "people with these indications are on chronic opioids, and they have become disabled, and they are spilling over into social security and disability systems," Dr Franklin said.