According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States1 and accounted for 28 000 deaths in 2014.2 Other developed countries are experiencing similar increases in opioid abuse, although not necessarily of the same magnitude as in the United States. Opioid abuse increases proportionately to increased use of these drugs for pain control, which in turn has increased substantially in the past 2 decades. Increased awareness of opioid abuse and the role that prescription opioids have in contributing to opioid abuse necessitates reexamination of the use of opioid analgesia for routine pain management.
Ballantyne JC. Avoiding Opioid Analgesics for Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain. JAMA. 2016;315(22):2459–2460. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6753