Opioid misuse and the overdose epidemic have occurred amongst patients with chronic pain. Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die as a result of opioid misuse.  More than 2.1 million people have an  opioid use disorder and 1,756 teens will abuse a prescription drug for the first time every day (CDC). This may be due both to the lack of education amongst patients and providers, and to obtaining overlapping  prescriptions from multiple  providers or pharmacies.
     According to Dr. Alford education has the potential to both reduce overprescribing and to ensure that patients in need retain access to opioids.  Many patients and healthcare providers set unrealistic goals of treatment for their chronic pain condition. They also tend to have unrealistic expectations regarding the potential benefits of opioids and not to fully appreciate the degree of risk conferred by  escalating their own doses in a desperate attempt to obtain pain relief.  The patient and provider must have a relationship that  involves trust and communication with one another when the opioids seem not to work, or one      becomes dependent on the drug.  In this way, the provider can declare failure and move to more  alternative modalities of dealing with chronic pain. 
                                  Janelle Wanzor, DSU Psychology Senior/Dr. Nina Anderson

TOVA Community Health
Primary Specialty Care
(302) 429-5870 ext. 120

Leave a Reply