Misconceptions, Mistakes and Malevolence
There is a very informative review article in last month’s The New England Journal of Medicine titled “Opioid Abuse in Chronic Pain — Misconceptions and Mitigation Strategies.” Over the next couple of weeks, I will report on several interesting takeaways from this white paper.
The article highlights the industry misconceptions most relevant to the workers’ comp payor, regarding addiction and opioids, including:
- Only long-term use produces addiction;
- Only patients with certain characteristics are vulnerable to addiction;
- Addiction is simply a set of bad choices;
- Addiction is the same as physical dependence and tolerance.
Almost a third of Americans have some form of chronic or acute pain. Only when we understand the science can we adequately address the problem.
Opioids will be here for some time, and we must know all the facts to do better.
Next week…Risk Factors.
Call us. We can do better.