The move away from opioids
While opioids can be powerful medication for controlling intense pain and can play an important role in helping some patients, such as those with end-stage cancers, there is a current move to find better, less addictive, and less dangerous ways to help people with chronic pain.
Anne Marie McKenzie-Brown, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology at Emory and director of the Emory Pain Center, served on a committee convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to review the science on pain research, medical care, and education. The goal was to find ways to lessen reliance on opioids.
"The committee realizes there is not a 'one size fits all' option for non-opioid treatments and other interventions to curtail pain; however, current evidence does not support opioids as the first treatment option for chronic pain," said McKenzie-Brown. "Focusing on the individual benefits versus the risks of prescription opioid use is going to take a culture change. We found we not only need to look at the way physicians treat pain, but also at patients' expectations in the way their pain is managed."
April 02, 2020
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA