In a recent article for Pain Medicine News, "4 Steps Every Provider Must Take Before Prescribing an Opioid," two lawyers detail the voluminous documentation doctors must collect and maintain to protect themselves against all these new anti-opioid rules. When even so many doctors don't understand chronic pain, it's no surprise that lawyers don't either. They are trying to fit the practice of pain management into a ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I recently attended a state medical society’s annual meeting where the agenda consisted of an awards program, several speakers and a keynote address.  The highlight of the evening, however, was listening to patients share their stories with the local medical community.  We’ve all heard ...

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Pharmacists play an essential role in today’s ever-expanding health care system today. They check for drug interactions, watch for signs of opioid overprescribing and try to determine whether a drug for one condition prescribed by one doctor will negatively impact the patient because of another diagnosis the patient has. In hospital units, their roles have become yet more complex — often serving on various quality committees, managing daily dosages of ...

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Marijuana has been used for reported medical purposes for thousands of years when the plant had THC content of 0.5 to 3%. The most common reported medical use is for pain. Several states and the District of Columbia have some form of legalized marijuana, with many states having legalized for recreational use. There has been discussion about how cannabis will help curb the opioid epidemic. It’s been reported that medical cannabis ...

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Pain usually cannot be “treated” like a standard ear infection. Treating patients in pain requires setting realistic expectations, using a variety of approaches, and patience. One patient I treated months ago highlights these points. At 6 a.m., I was ready for the change of shift at the hospital. The night doctor who took care of my patients was frustrated. He snapped, “You really should have had a better plan for her. ...

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We are writing as a parent and a dentist to spread a message to parents and dental health care providers across Canada: there are alternatives to prescribing opioids after wisdom tooth removal. Removing wisdom teeth is considered by many as a rite of passage for teenagers. It is one of the most common surgical procedures done in young people aged 16 to 24. Amy’s 16-year-old son, Felix recently had his wisdom teeth ...

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The opioid epidemic has swept through communities across the country, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse more than 115 people in the U.S. die every day after overdosing on opioids. This crisis is dominating the headlines as physicians, hospitals, community groups, elected officials, businesses and families try to tackle this massive problem. Opioid addiction is a complicated issue, and it will take more than a silver bullet ...

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Many patients who end up in Suboxone treatment have chronic pain. They were originally prescribed other opiates and ended up addicted to them. Skeptics argue that is just substituting one opiate for another. But that isn’t quite accurate. More on that in a bit. In my seven years of prescribing Suboxone for opiate addiction, I have often observed how potent a pain reliever this medication is, even in fairly low doses. More ...

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I doubt there is anyone living in the U.S. who doesn’t realize we have an opioid crisis here. Politicians debate the solutions to abating the high death rate that comes along with it, however, they fail to acknowledge that there are Americans in pain. Yes, we need to be sure opioids are prescribed judiciously. However, we also need to treat patients in pain. As a doctor, it is not always easy ...

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Mary first took oxycodone after a minor surgery and found she liked it. Returning to her surgeon a month later with vague ongoing pain, she received another prescription. Her primary care provider took over from there — until one day that physician checked a urine drug screen and a prescription monitoring program (PMP) report, only to find that she was obtaining various opioids from several providers. The physician cut her ...

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