Millions of patients have been prescribed opioids for the management of chronic pain although there are virtually no studies demonstrating they are effective.
Steven A. King, MD, MS
Three studies highlight how important it is that when physicians prescribe opioids there can be significant and even potentially fatal consequences for the family members of those for whom they are being prescribed.
The association between psychiatric disorders, most notably depression and anxiety, and pain is well established. However, mental health professionals, and especially psychiatrists, are still often excluded from treating patients with pain.
Medical professionals don’t want to prescribe too many pain killers, which may contribute to the epidemic of opioid misuse, yet they don’t want patients to needlessly suffer.
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While many deaths due to opioid overdoses are accidental, there a growing body of evidence that some cases were intentional and that the presence of pain played a role in the decision to end life.
Although it is still widely believed that the management of chronic pain usually requires medications or physical interventions, a growing body of research has demonstrated the efficacy of psychological therapeutic modalities.
Research published more than 25 years ago was already reporting problems with opioid analgesics.
Take this quiz on one of the most controversial diagnoses in pain management.
Psychiatrists may be able to contribute to the care of patients with DM by understanding this problem and its proper treatment. Here's a quiz to test your knowledge.