With significant increases in opioid use for pain relief and a correlated spike in opioid use disorders, chronic pain management remains a public health concern. Long-acting and extended-release opioids are powerful drugs that require oversight but can be controlled without limiting their proper use. Prescribing barriers would affect patients with a legitimate need for pain relief.
As a first point of contact for patients with chronic pain, you play a vital role in balancing pain management needs with the risk of drug misuse. Treatment may include subspecialists, but you coordinate and manage care for the majority of these patients. You can customize treatment to the patient’s situation after reviewing potential risks, benefits, side effects, and functional assessments, and monitor ongoing therapy.
Patient improvement and maintaining function are the goals of pain management. Use resources like a the AAFP Chronic Pain Management Toolkit, OUD practice manual, evidence-based clinical guidelines, pain management CME, opioid policies, and patient education pieces from familydoctor.org to guide your patients through pain management issues. The AAFP will continue to actively participate in pain management and opioid use disorder issues through advocacy, collaboration and education.
The FDA warns that dental problems have been reported with medicines containing buprenorphine that are dissolved in the mouth. But buprenorphine is an important treatment option for OUD and pain, and the medication benefits outweigh the risks. The risk of dental problems is being added to the prescribing information and the patient Medication Guide. Read the alert.
AMA Opioid Task Force and the AMA Pain Task Force—the AAFP has joined the AMA and other medical specialty societies to address the opioid epidemic through resources, education, and advocacy.
Opioid Response Network—the AAFP is a member of a coalition led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) to provide training and technical assistance across the country
PCSS—the AAFP is a partner with PCSS to provide MAT-waiver training, education, and mentoring. New in 2021: The PCSS Exchange is a new interprofessional interactive series that starts 9/23. Subject matter experts will provide key information, real world cases, and answer participant questions related to MOUD. View and register for the sessions relevant to your practice.
Through AAFP, you can find education on topics like Prescription Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders. View the courses.