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.
We are learning the do's and do not's of this new approach to pain.
Laboratory research and clinical trials have demonstrated unexpected, paradoxical effects when opiate blockers are combined with opiates that enhance their pain-relieving effects.
I worry that the current trend toward limiting the ability of doctors to prescribe opiates will promote the under-treatment and stigmatization of those in chronic pain.