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This pocket guide is designed to provide health professionals with basic guidance, tools, and resources for identifying patients who may be at risk for opioid misuse and effectively managing the risk of abuse, addiction, and diversion.
Chronic pain is one of the most common and debilitating health care conditions, and among the most notoriously challenging to treat. Chronic non-cancer pain presents a significant burden to society in terms of lost workforce productivity and significant health resource utilization and cost. Although controversies persist surrounding the use of opioid analgesics, consensus now exists among medical experts that they can be useful for carefully selected patients.
Safe opioid prescribing, however, hinges on effective risk management. All clinicians who treat pain with opioids are obliged to implement therapy according to accepted principles of prescribing and to minimize the risk of misuse, abuse, addiction, and diversion through risk assessment and management strategie. Proper risk assessment allows for a care plan that is structured to optimize therapeutic outcomes while minimizing risks of potential opioid-related morbidities or problematic drug-related behaviors as effectively as possible.
Authors: Howard Smith, Perry Fine and Steven D Passik
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