Federal Government Publishes Guidelines for Prescription Painkillers
Just yesterday the federal government published the first-ever “national standards for prescription painkillers” in an attempt to subvert the steadily increasing drug epidemic in the US (Tavernise, 2016).
The guidelines have been in development for over two years, are nonbinding, and were issues by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Certain states and medical societies have issued their own guidelines for prescribing opioid medications, but this is the first federal measure that has been put into effect (Tavernise, 2016). According to Dr. Andrew Kolodny of the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing organization, “. . . the federal government is communicating clearly to the medical community that the risks outweigh the potential benefits of these drugs” (Tavernise, 2016).
The CDC’s guidelines state that primary care physicians should first use ibuprofen and aspirin to treat pain and that opioids should only be prescribed for pain lasting approximately three days, not chronic pain. The guidelines also recommend that patients submit to a urine drug test before receiving prescriptions and that doctors use prescription drug tracking systems (Tavernise, 2016).
Tavernise, S. (2016). CDC painkiller guidelines aim to reduce addiction risk. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/health/cdc-opioid-guidelines.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FPrescription%20Drug%20Abuse&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0