There is a significant amount of media, political, and public attention paid to the opioid crisis/opioid epidemic in the United States. With the seemingly ever-increasing number of opioid related overdoses and fatalities, there has been a feverish push by stakeholders to diminish the amount of opioids prescribed in order to help stem these worrisome trends. Unfortunately, there may be a lack of focus regarding the true definition and characterization of the opioid epidemic. There may also be a rush to judgment about the role of appropriately prescribed opioid analgesics in the addiction crisis we face today. This presentation will discuss the roles and statistics of both prescription and illicit opioids--namely fentanyl and heroin--in today's "opioid overdose epidemic" with the intention of clarifying important differences and similarities between these competing epidemics including concerns and clinical considerations specific to each of them. Additionally, this program will examine and identify how these medications and drugs share potentially tragic adverse effect profiles in many cases. However, it is important for clinicians to make sure that appropriate chronic pain patients who may be candidates for opioid analgesic therapy aren't penalized, and still get the treatment they deserve.
AANP Rx Hours