Managing pain with opioids is risky business: prescribing too little risks undertreatment and overprescribing can be deadly. And with opioids being more accessible, there’s been an increase in abuse of these medications. Where is the middle ground and is there a growing national opiate epidemic?
Good Morning Washington sat down with Interventional Pain Specialist Dr. Aneesh Singla to talk about the increase in opioid use, managing pain with opiates, and how pharmaceutical manufacturers are doing their part to minimize the availability of deadly drugs. Dr. Singla believes that opiates became a popular treatment for chronic pain patients in the 1980’s and 1990’s due to the strength of the medication. However, this ramped up the amount of opiates being distributed.
“Pain should not be eliminated completely and should be used to diagnose and care for the patient. Understanding the underlying cause of pain allows physicians to treat pain accordingly and to avoid prescribing opiate medications when possible.” – Aneesh Singla, M.D.
Using opioids to decrease pain increases the risk of addiction and misuse. In an effort to decrease the growing opiate abuse, pharmaceutical manufacturers are reformulating commonly prescribed opioids, such as Oxycontin, to reduce the addicting properties.
For more information, visit the CDC about the opioid epidemic and how to recognize if someone is at risk for opioid abuse.
Click Below to View Dr. Singla’s Interview: