| One-Minute Clinician

Opioids vs... What?

I think the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. In the early 2000s, there was this increase in opioid prescribing and use that has led us to the predicament we’re in now with the opioid abuse and misuse epidemic, as they’re calling it. And now no one wants to prescribe them. For our patients with truly legitimate pain, what are we doing for them. We’re really leaving them in a pickle because prescribers aren’t comfortable prescribing opioids anymore. So really we’re turning to alternative therapy which is what we should be doing at baseline, truly assessing our patient’s pain and determining whether or not their pain is opioid responsive in the first place. Can we use a nonsteroidal. Can we use acetaminophen or an SNRI, gabapentin, something along those lines, and then utilizing things like nerve blocks, integrative medicine, nonpharmacologic therapy in addition to opioids if appropriate.