The epidemic of opioid use disorder has led to substantial increases in new cases of HCV and HIV infection, as well as hospitalizations for other OUD-related infections.
This rise in prescribing of prescription opioids in the last 2 decades of the 20th century occurred at a time during which medical professionals were urged to resort to prescription opioids to manage untreated and chronic noncancer pain.
The guideline formulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an effort to curb opioid overdose-related deaths included a recommendation for steep reductions in opioid doses for patients taking high doses of the drug for chronic pain.
Big data has enabled public health authorities to identify doctor-shopping patients and those who needed treatment for opioid abuse. The trade-off, however, could be patient and provider privacy.
“Chasing the dragon” is an increasingly popular method of heroin inhalation among drug users.
The opioid system is responsible for social pain and reward in the brain; therefore, understanding its underpinnings may help clinicians manage patients with depression and suicidal ideation.
The perioperative management of pain in patients with opioid use disorders presents multiple challenges to clinicians. A recent review offered clinical guidance for various subgroups of these individuals.
Emerging evidence indicates that the placebo effect can in some instances reduce patients’ pain. The current debate is whether clinicians need to disclose to patients that they are using placebos instead of active ingredients.