Opioid Risk and Patient Needs--Finding the Balance in Pain Management

A Collection of Research and Commentary on the Opioid Crisis

PAINWeek readers may be interested in reviewing the upcoming edition of Anesthesia & Analgesia, a specially themed issue exploring opioid abuse and misuse entitled "What Have We Learned? Where Do We Go From Here?". Although guest editors Honorio Benzon, MD, and T. Anthony Anderson, MD, PhD, focus on the role of pain medicine specialists and anesthesiologists in responding to the crisis, the collection of research reviews and expert commentary should prove a valuable summary for primary care clinicians engaged in pain management. In their editorial introducing the edition, Drs. Benzon and Anderson write "Measures necessary to combat nonessential opioid consumption…should be balanced with the legitimate needs of patients in pain."

The special edition assembles commentary on a range of areas pertaining to the problem including:

  • current evidence for, and needed research on, alternatives to opioids for chronic pain
  • the role of integrative medicine and complementary and alternative therapies in pain management
  • best practices in post-surgical engagement of opioids
  • opioid sparing strategies and agents, including the use of gabapentinoids, lidocaine, ketamine, and dexmedetomidine
  • update on basic science and translational research into new opioid and non-opioid medications targeting different receptors and associated with lower risk of abuse

Read a news summary of the special issue content, with link to the journal and to an audio commentary by the editors. 

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