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)
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.
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.
Providers Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies
PCSS-O(pcss-o.org) is a national training and mentoring project developed in response to the prescription opioid overdose epidemic.
Educate Your Patients
- FamilyDoctor.org(familydoctor.org) is the AAFP patient education website featuring trusted, reliable health information.
- Chronic Pain(familydoctor.org)
- Opioid Addiction(familydoctor.org)
- Prescription Drug Abuse in the Elderly(familydoctor.org)
- Safe Use, Storage, and Disposal of Opioid Drugs(familydoctor.org)
Read Selected Journal Articles
- Opioids for Chronic Back Pain: Short-Term Effectiveness, Long-Term Uncertain Am Fam Physician. 2014 Aug 15;90(4):online.
- Rational Use of Opioids for Management of Chronic Non-terminal Pain Am Fam Physician. 2012 Aug 1;86(3):252-258.
- Collection on Chronic Pain: Browse this AFPcollection featuring content on chronic pain and related issues, including end-of-life care, NSAIDs, and opioid therapy.
From Family Practice Management (FPM)
- Chronic Care Management and Other New CPT Codes Fam Pract Manag. 2015 Jan-Feb;22(1):7-12.
- How to Monitor Opioid Use for Your Patients with Chronic Pain Fam Pract Manag. 2014 Nov-Dec;21(6):6-11.
- SPPACES: Medical Apps Review
Safe Opioids Fam Pract Manag. 2014 May-June;21(3):31.
- A Proactive Approach to Controlled Substance Refills Fam Pract Manag. 2010 Nov-Dec;17(6):22-27.
From Annals of Family Medicine
- Opioids for Chronic Pain: First Do No Harm(www.annfammed.org): Editorial
- Opioids for Chronic Noncancer Pain: As the Pendulum Swings, Who Should Set Prescribing Standards for Primary Care?(www.annfammed.org): Editorial
- Objective Evidence of Severe Disease: Opioid Use in Chronic Pain(www.annfammed.org): Reflections
AAFP Policies and Clinical Recommendations
- Stop the Stigma and Expand Access to Comprehensive Treatment(www.ama-assn.org): The AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse believes it’s up to America’s physicians, patients and policymakers to help stop the stigma of substance use disorders.
- NIH's Draft National Pain Strategy: Academy strongly supports more physician education on pain treatment.
- Providers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O) Modules(pcss-o.org): Free, non-CME opioid training modules, developed in cooperation with the AAFP.
- National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) Addiction Performance(www.drugabuse.gov): This online tool, developed in cooperation with the AAFP, may help you identify and help drug-abusing patients.
- Opioid Studies Mark Slowdown in Abuse, but Work Remains: More research is need to fine-tune prescribing practices to combat abuse.
- Many Physicians Leery of Using Opioids for Noncancer Pain: Even though opioid abuse rates across the United States are still sky-high, it appears progress is being made on the physician end of the supply chain.