Published by Healio

With the CDC stating that the opioid epidemic claims 91 lives per day and at least one study suggesting that chronic opioid use can be triggered in as little 3 days, the treatment of pain is under the microscope more than ever.

It is against this backdrop that the 16th Pain Awareness Month is taking place. According to the American Chronic Pain Association, each September various groups step up their efforts to increase public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management.

Laws regulating opioid prescriptions vary from state to state, but the CDC has outlined a number of guidelines that primary care physicians can follow regarding these medications, such as prescribing the least amount of opioids possible that will achieve results.

In conjunction with Pain Awareness Month, Healio Family Medicine asked Bill McCarberg, MD, past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and Kimberly Schelling, MD, a primary care physician with Tufts Medical Center, Boston, for suggestions on how primary care physicians can identify the full scope of their patients’ pain and determine the best treatment strategy. – by Janel Miller