While the healthcare community seems to generally be in agreement that opioids are being used excessively in pain management, there does not appear to be much willingness to explore other treatment modalities. The Drug Topics magazine recently published an interesting article by Dr. Allen Nichol of CeutiCare, Inc., outlining his experience with proposing a novel clinical approach to management of chronic pain.
Based on Dr. Nichol’s experience, it would seem that regulatory actions, such as rescheduling of certain products, imposing distribution quotas, etc., are preferred to exploring new avenues of pain management that may involve more than just writing a prescription for opioids. Regulation may help to curb some of the abuse, but proper management of chronic pain is critical in this effort. Merely limiting access to opioids will not solve our problem. As healthcare providers we should explore every avenue to provide adequate pain relief without overreliance on any particular treatment modality, particularly one that is as prone to abuse as opioids.