Cracking the "Painkiller Paradox"

How can the US address the opioid crisis without abandoning pain patients? German Lopez asked experts how they’d address this “painkiller paradox.”
 
Among their suggestions: Be careful with opioid prescribing caps, which can leave behind patients who genuinely need opioids. “The idea is not to constrain clinical decision making,” says Brandeis University’s Andrew Kolodny, “but to make it a little harder for doctors to casually overprescribe.”
 
Another key: Don’t abruptly cut off opioid patients, which can send them into withdrawals so unbearable that they may turn to illicit opioids. Also, non-opioid pain relief alternatives are a must.
 
Vox

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