• Pain Management & Opioid Misuse

    Chronic pain management remains a public health concern, with significant increases in opioid use for pain relief and a correlated spike in opioid use disorders.

    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.

    Treating Chronic Pain

    As a first point of contact for patients with chronic pain, you play a vital role in balancing their pain management needs with the risk of drug misuse and abuse while minimizing the risk of misuse or developing an opioid use disorder.
     
    Treatment may include subspecialists, but you coordinate and manage care for the majority of these patients. Customize treatment to the patient’s situation after reviewing potential risks, benefits, side effects, and functional assessments, and monitor ongoing therapy.

    Pain Management Solutions

    The AAFP views patient improvement and maintaining function as the goals of pain management. Use resources like a the AAFP chronic pain management toolkit, 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.