Be a Smart Pain Patient
For people experiencing chronic, intractable pain, responsible use of opioids can be an effective treatment. However, our current opioid misuse epidemic has called attention to the downside of these powerful medications. The many tragic stories of addiction and overdose have raised concerns about the use of opioid pain medications for patients with chronic pain.
Practical Pain Management magazine’s The Smart Patient’s Guide to Chronic Pain Management to help pain patients take an educated role in their own treatment.
The US Surgeon General’s Turn the Tide Rx website offers pain patients guidance on taking opioids for pain, managing pain without opioids, and managing the risks of opioids.
For a quick look at options that can assist when cutting back or stopping opioid medications, Harvard Medical School has published a synopsis of Non-opioid options for managing chronic pain.
Be a Smart Prescriber (for Providers)
The US Surgeon General’s Turn the Tide Rx website offers providers a pain treatment toolbox and guidelines for prescribing, screening for misuse, overdose prevention and medication-assisted treatment.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Improving Opioid Prescribing page highlights the key role prescribers play in the opioid epidemic.
The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy has published Strategies for Promoting the Safe Use and Appropriate Prescribing of Prescription Opioids, a landscape analysis of interventions being used by the U.S. health system to ensure that opioid analgesics are safely prescribed as part of appropriate pain management.
NIDA also offers a self-administered course called Knowing When to Say When: Transitioning Patients from Opioid Therapy that covers recognition of aberrant drug-taking behaviors, strategies for monitoring patients, using a risk-benefit framework to help determine options for discontinuation of opioids, and strategies for transition patients off of opioids and how to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.
The Centers For Disease Control had developed and published the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse, or overdose from these drugs.
The CDC also provides a web-based training module targeted towards physicians, registered nurses, and other professionals (but available to everyone) called “Treating Chronic Pain Without Opioids.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics Offers a CME course called Chronic Pain and the Opioid Crisis to help providers understand chronic pain and types of chronic, understand the goals and the approach to the treatment of chronic pain and understand the role of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain and CDC recommendations for opioid therapy in the chronic pain population.