We cannot win by playing an eternal game of “whack-a-drug”, without addressing the underlying societal ills driving substance abuse and addiction. Responding to a substance abuse epidemic by taking opioids away from those in chronic pain simply creates an epidemic of undertreated chronic pain.
Strict implementation of 2016 CDC opioid guidelines has resulted in widespread undertreatment of chronic pain, and even the CDC is now admitting that their recommendations have been misinterpreted and misused.
CBD, passionflower and corydalis are herbal medicines that research studies show can reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. Discovering these options has transformed my practice and I wish other doctors knew about them too.