Information for Referring Physicians and Patients
Opioids (narcotics) have long been known to be effective pain relieving medications for certain types of severe pain related to cancer and other severe degenerative and chronic disease conditions. At one point in time it was thought that these powerful medications could also help patients with far less serious but yet chronic painful conditions. As is attested to by recent studies and by the recently published Center for Disease Control opioid prescribing guidelines, the incorporation of opioids in these less serious conditions has not been shown to provide long-term benefits that outweigh risks. In fact, it is now well known that long term opioids pose significant health risks. As pain management specialists we will continue to cautiously prescribe and monitor opioid medications in the select circumstances in which we judge they are indicated. In an effort, however, to protect patient’s health and curtail opioid misuse we will not be prescribing opioids for chronic pain complaints that are not clearly related to severe degenerative and chronic disease conditions.