The Impact of Risk Reduction Initiatives on Chronic Opioid Use

“Physicians and patients can find common ground on ensuring that pain treatment is as safe as possible,” Dr. Von Korff pointed out, noting that many patients on COT continue to experience moderate to severe pain that substantially interferes with life activities and enjoyment.

“Persons with chronic pain deserve empathy and compassion, but escalating opioid doses may expose patients to increased risks of harms, and greater physical dependence on opioids and side effects, without improving pain outcomes over the long run,” Dr. Von Korff concluded.

TRENDING ON CPA: An Overview of ASRA Guidelines for Patients on Anticoagulants Undergoing Pain Procedures  

Dr. Twillman concurs, noting that clinicians need to work to identify alternatives to opioid prescribing that are available to their patients with chronic pain.

The study was supported by grants to Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) from Pfizer, Inc, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the National Institute on Aging.


1. Draft CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: Accessed: November 9, 2015.

2. Von Korff M, Dublin S, Walker RL et al. The impact of opioid risk reduction initiatives on high-dose opioid prescribing for chronic opioid therapy patients. J Pain. 2015 Oct 14. pii: S1526-5900(15)00908-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2015.10.002. [Epub ahead of print]