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Medical News & Perspectives
May 9, 2007

Scientists Probe Ways to Curb Opioid Abuse Without Hindering Pain Treatment

JAMA. 2007;297(18):1965-1967. doi:10.1001/jama.297.18.1965

Research on the use of opioid pain medications is beginning to provide some guidance on curbing abuse of these powerful prescription drugs while allowing patients in need to receive adequate treatment for pain.

Greater recognition of the importance of pain management has led to skyrocketing numbers of prescriptions for opioid analgesics. At the same time, abuse of these drugs has increased (Kuehn BM. JAMA. 2007;297:249-251). This pair of trends has left many physicians considering the best ways to ensure that patients get needed pain relief while preventing abuse of pain medications.