The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has announced the creation of its Ad Hoc Committee on Prescription Opioid Abuse to help address the country’s growing epidemic.

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The committee’s focus will be on identifying common-sense ways to reduce prescription opioid abuse and promote other treatments, considered to be safe and effective, for patients with chronic pain, the association noted. 

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The newly-formed Ad Hoc Committee on Prescription Opioid Abuse will work to also advance the conversation around the safe use of opioids between physicians, patients and their loved ones.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opioid prescribing guidelines and the passing of the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA) are great steps toward addressing and preventing further opioid abuse,” committee co-chair Anita Gupta, DO, PharmD, said in a statement.

She added: “As a nation losing nearly 100 lives a day to this epidemic, we have a duty to act. Policies that promote access to effective multimodal and multidisciplinary treatments for the management of chronic pain, such as interventional pain therapies, are essential to providing patient-centered pain care and reducing opioid use.”

Additionally, the ASA’s Committee on Pain Medicine is recommending that clinicians consider co-prescribing naloxone with an opioid for patients at high risk of overdose.