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Medical News & Perspectives
September 8, 2004

Physicians Advised on How to Offer Pain Relief While Preventing Opioid Abuse

JAMA. 2004;292(10):1164-1166. doi:10.1001/jama.292.10.1164

Physicians who treat patients with pain often find themselves in a difficult balancing act as they strive to offer appropriate relief while safeguarding against inappropriate use of pain medications.

Collaborative efforts between the law enforcement and health care communities are necessary to promote appropriate access to pain medication and prevent abuse, addiction, and diversion. Realizing this, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Last Acts Partnership (a coalition of organizations for improved care for individuals who are dying and their families), and the Pain and Policy Studies Group at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, have recently joined forces to produce a consensus document to address the clinical and regulatory issues surrounding the prescription of controlled drugs. A committee of 12 pain and legal experts from institutions including the American Pain Foundation, the American Pharmacuetical Association, and various medical schools, reviewed the document prior to its release.