The Rational Use of Opioid Analgesics for Non-Cancer Pain: What Every Prescriber Needs to Know

Opioids are the de facto treatment for noncancer chronic pain, despite this treatment pathway being fraught with social, medical, legal, and ethical consequences. Dr. Argoff will review the many misconceptions regarding long-term opioid use, and will argue for a judicious and measured approach to prescribing; he will also review the ethical burden inherent in prescribing opioids. Dr. Darnall will review evidence describing some of the specific risks and consequences of opioid therapy, and will propose that informed consent procedures must include discussion of the likely complications associated with long-term opioid use (by relevant age and sex). She will also discuss the limitations of opioid therapy and will argue for a treatment approach that addresses the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive aspects that drive much of the chronic pain experience.

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