When I started treating opioid dependence, I began with high expectations. I was frustrated with what had become a mindless, ineffectual exercise in providing medication for chronic pain. I saw too many patients “circling the drain” on opioids. Most admitted they still had chronic pain despite their high consumption of opioids. Many patients needed their medication just to feel normal and avoid withdrawal. Others wished they could stop taking opioids ...

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As the national opioid crisis takes center stage, I want to make a case for the authority of the family physician in managing and treating this problem. I am a family physician and have been treating patients with opioid dependence and addiction for 12 years. These patients comprise about half of my practice. The other half is representative of a typical primary care practice. I have patients who have been treated ...

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