Prescription opioid misuse is a major public health issue in the United States. Since the late 1990s, sales of prescription opioids have risen 4-fold, and the rates of admissions for substance use treatment and of death from opioid overdose have grown proportionately.1 In response, training programs about the appropriate prescribing of opioid therapy have been developed, prescription monitoring programs implemented, and access to naloxone facilitated to reduce deaths among people who overdose. In general, these strategies focus on detecting and preventing harm in those who are already dependent on or misusing opioids. Although the impact of many of these programs is uncertain, the opioid epidemic continues to grow.
Bateman BT, Choudhry NK. Limiting the Duration of Opioid Prescriptions: Balancing Excessive Prescribing and the Effective Treatment of Pain. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(5):583–584. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.0544
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