The United States is struggling with an epidemic of opioid abuse driven in part by postoperative opioid prescribing patterns. Opioid prescribing after surgery is one of the most common methods of initial opioid exposure and places patients at risk of developing opioid dependency. In otolaryngology, 6% of the patients who are opioid-naive develop postoperative iatrogenic opioid dependency,1 which contributes considerably to the epidemic because approximately 16 million otolaryngology operations are performed each year globally.2
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Cramer JD, Mehta V, Chi DH, Weinreich HM. Minimizing Excess Opioid Prescribing for Acute Postoperative Pain. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online January 09, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.4209
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