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JAMA Internal Medicine has run a series of articles on the dangers of prescription opioids for the treatment of chronic pain.1,2 The best solution is to avoid prescribing opioids for chronic pain because there is no high-quality evidence that they are effective for this indication, and the risk of adverse effects, including death from unintentional overdose, is great.3 But when patients are in pain, and nonopioid methods have proven ineffective, it can be difficult to send patients out of the office without an opioid prescription.
Katz MH. Mitigating the Dangers of Opioids. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):616. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8096