Editor’s Note. Celeste Cooper is a registered nurse and author who frequent comments on chronic pain and what follows is the comment she submitted to the CDC on its opioid guidelines.
I believe the CDC and many others have confused addiction/abuse and tolerance. Opioids are usually the treatment of last resort. Other medication options available have far wider reaching consequences, yet we never here about those or related deaths.
Why is the CDC suggesting any restrictions of opioids to patients who need them to function? Pill mill doctors should be dealt with through other channels. Those who are addicted should have access to free treatment that is not based on their ability to pay. Both communities of people deserve to be treated humanely, so why are you wasting time and money when it would be better served to improve health and function.
There are no long-term studies to prove that opioids do not work for treatment of chronic pain. Not all patients require escalated doses of opioids and those that do, can be and should be educated according to individual needs, but it is the patient and physician that need to make these decisions based on the patients individual needs, not some cookie cutter biased approach.
Stop judging people simply because they have an untreated condition that causes chronic pain. Hindering their access to care they know provides relief will not treat the addict, only family support and available treatments known to work will curb the drug abuse conundrum. Someone from every aspect of pain care should be included to make any policies regarding patient care, including the patient.
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If you wish to comment on the 2016 CDC Opioid Guidelines, you must do so by January 13. To comment, click here.