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Robert Redfield, MD took the reins at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the midst of a national explosion in opioid addiction and death. As such, he vowed that tackling the problem would be a top priority for the CDC. Right now, that means demanding that his agency set new guidelines for prescribing opioids for short-term pain and implementing new systems to track overdoses in hospital emergency rooms. However, a study conducted and published by Pain News Network (PNN) paints a less-than-rosy picture of the prospects for the success of any new guidelines issued by the CDC. In point of fact, while opioid prescribing has dropped, overdoses and deaths have increased due to patients (and addicts, to be sure) getting opiate medications illegally. In the PNN study, over 65% of physicians said they don’t think CDC guidelines have been successful in reducing opioid abuse and overdoses. Nearly half said they prescribe the same amount of opioid medications as they did before the advent of the CDC advisory, though many acknowledge they prescribe opioids in smaller doses. One thing to remember: Guidelines are not binding, but emerging federal and state laws intended to inhibit overprescribing of opiates are. Stay up to date with the regulations where you practice, for the protection of your patients and your practice.
























CDC Wants More Opioid Guidelines—but Will They Help?
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