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Updated guidelines for opioid prescribing draw a sharper distinction between prescribing for acute, subacute, and chronic pain than previous iterations—but with prescription drugs accountable for more overdose deaths than any other substance, the question of which urgent care patients should or should not be candidates for opioid prescriptions remains as essential as ever. As noted in an article published by Medpage Today, the new guidance promotes a greater degree of individualized care. They’re partly informed by approximately 5,500 public comments from people affected by both pain and opioid addiction, as well as barriers to pain care. While the update could be viewed as “softer” in some ways, it maintains caution on prescribing for subacute and chronic pain unrelated to cancer or sickle cell disease and recommends close attention to both dosing and length of use. For more urgent care-specific insights on opioid use and abuse, read The Potential Role of Urgent Care in Addressing the Opiate Epidemic in the JUCM archive.

Updated Guidelines Soften Stance on Opioids for Acute Pain. What Do They Mean for Urgent Care?