Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risks For Painkiller Abuse Do Not Outweigh Benefits Of Chronic Pain Control, Expert Says

Date:
May 9, 2008
Source:
American Pain Society
Summary:
As controversy swirls about proper clinical use of opioids and other potent pain medications, research reported at the American Pain Society annual meeting shows that, contrary to widespread beliefs, less than 3 percent of patients with no history of drug abuse who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain will show signs of possible drug abuse or dependence.

As controversy swirls about proper clinical use of opioids and other potent pain medications, research reported at the American Pain Society annual meeting shows that, contrary to widespread beliefs, less than 3 percent of patients with no history of drug abuse who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain will show signs of possible drug abuse or dependence.

Related Articles


In his plenary session address, Srinivasa Raja, MD, professor of anesthesiology, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, urged clinicians and policy makers not to allow the small percentage of abused pain prescriptions to prevent legitimate pain patients from getting the care they need.

"Physicians today face a dilemma in trying to balance the needs of their patients with demands from society for better control of opioid medications. We also are dealing with unfounded accusations in the media that increased prescribing of opioids for severe chronic pain is responsible in large part for reported upswings in the abuse of pain medications," said Raja.

"We do need stronger evidence about which patients will benefit most from these medications to help make better prescribing decisions," he added. "But for most chronic pain patients, drugs are not the sole solution. More and more studies are showing that multi-faceted treatment involving physical and cognitive-behavioral therapies and appropriate interventional strategies lead to the most favorable outcomes."

According to Raja, the problem of prescription drug abuse can best be attacked and hopefully solved through collaborations involving care givers, regulatory and law enforcement agencies and the pharmaceutical industry.

"First, I believe physicians should be diligent is communicating with their patients about the benefits and risks of opioids and also screen them for drug-seeking behavior and other warning signs of potential abuse," said Raja. "Also, we must monitor patients carefully to determine when doses can be lowered over time as they improve their pain control and overall functioning."

The message for law enforcement and federal and state regulatory agencies, first and foremost, is to strive for state-to-state consistency in regulating controlled substances and crack down on illegal internet pharmacies and prescription thefts and forgeries.

"Progress is being made as there is increased awareness of the source of prescription opioids being diverted into the illicit market," said Raja, "and states and municipalities are stepping up their teen drug awareness education programs."

For pharmaceutical manufacturers, Raja said the key challenge is to match clinical needs for less addicting pain medication with drug development priorities. "There are novel analgesic formulations in various stages of development that we hope can be prioritized and expedited for clinical use," he said.

Raja noted that fifty years ago, a commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended that opioids should be avoided in treating cancer pain because of possible addiction, and 20 years ago it was believed infants didn't feel pain and shouldn't receive anesthesia.

"We abandoned such faulty beliefs as scientific evidence proved otherwise," he said. "Now I hope history repeats itself in changing professional and public attitudes as we now know opioids are effective for treating chronic non-cancer pain and that very few legitimate pain patients abuse their medications. Hopefully, the evidence will foster a middle-ground approach that protects the rights of patients and clinicians while upholding society's right to control medication abuse and diversion."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Pain Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Pain Society. "Risks For Painkiller Abuse Do Not Outweigh Benefits Of Chronic Pain Control, Expert Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080509101631.htm>.
American Pain Society. (2008, May 9). Risks For Painkiller Abuse Do Not Outweigh Benefits Of Chronic Pain Control, Expert Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080509101631.htm
American Pain Society. "Risks For Painkiller Abuse Do Not Outweigh Benefits Of Chronic Pain Control, Expert Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080509101631.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins