Pain Management & Opioid Abuse

Chronic pain represents a substantial public health issue with tremendous economic, social, and medical costs. As the percentage of the U.S. population utilizing opioid analgesics for pain control grows, so does the rate of abuse, misuse and overdose of these drugs. We recognize the seriousness of the prescription drug abuse problem in the United States. At the same time, we must address the ongoing public health requirement to provide adequate pain management.

AAFP Position Paper

The American Academy of Family Physicians is actively working toward a solution to America’s pain management and opioid abuse epidemics through advocacy, collaboration, and education. Read the AAFP formal position: Pain Management and Opioid Abuse: A Public Health Concern(15 page PDF).

Highlights from the AAFP Position Paper on Pain Management and Opioid Abuse

  • The AAFP recommends against mandated CME as a prerequisite to licensure for prescribing opioid analgesic drugs.
  • The goal of pain management is primarily improvement and maintenance of function.
  • The AAFP will continue to work with the FDA and others to "ensure policies are in place to allow effective and safe opioid prescribing for patients in their pain management programs by their family physicians."

Download AAFP Position Paper

Pain Management and Opioid Abuse: A Public Health Concern (15-page PDF)

Healthy Interventions

Pain Management & Opioid Abuse Toolkit

Utilize office-based tools, community engagement, advocacy, science, and eductaion resources.

AAFP Encourages Widespread Access to Naloxone

When administered properly, naloxone can reverse a life-threatening opioid overdose by blocking the opioids’ effects, restoring breathing and preventing death.

With the support of the AAFP, the American Medical Association Task Force to Reduce Opiod Abuse strongly encourages widespread access to Naloxone.

Read the paper »(515 KB PDF)

Additional Resources

Find CME Opportunities

Pain Management: Earn CME credit and get the knowledge you need to treat your patients living with chronic pain.

CCM Billing Code

Medicare now offers payment for chronic care management (CCM). Family Practice Management details the information and tools your practice needs to bill for these services.

Read the article »

Providers Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies

PCSS-O( is a national training and mentoring project developed in response to the prescription opioid overdose epidemic.

Read Selected Journal Articles

From American Family Physician (AFP)
From Family Practice Management (FPM)
From Annals of Family Medicine

AAFP Policies and Clinical Recommendations

Related Articles