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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New CDC Opioid Use Guidelines

New CDC Opioid Use GuidelinesAmid growing concerns about the dramatic nationwide increase in addiction and overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new opioid prescribing guidelines for physicians. Overdose deaths from opioids have quadrupled since 1999, and health officials believe this is tied to the increased use of these drugs for treating pain associated with chronic conditions like arthritis and back pain.

The New Protocols
Opioids are now believed to pose a risk for abuse and addiction to all patients, and the CDC has shifted their former safety precautions from “high-risk patients” to include all patients except those who are undergoing cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care. The new guidelines recommend that primary care doctors wait to prescribe opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin until after they have first exhausted these more benign approaches to pain management:

• Physical therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy
• Exercise
• Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers

More Informed & Cautionary Approach 
When opioids are called for, the CDC encourages physicians to discuss the risks and benefits of opioid therapy with patients and to establish treatment goals. Further recommendations call for:

• Prescribing the lowest possible effective dose
• Using immediate-release opioids instead of extended-release
• Prescribing only enough opioids to cover the expected duration of the painful condition
• Combining opioid therapy with non-pharmacological therapies to maximize relief
• Regularly monitoring patients to check that opioid therapy is helping the condition & not having harmful effects
• Preparing to help the patient withdraw from opioids if the therapy proves ineffective or shows adverse effects

Safety of Opioid Use a Motivating Factor
“We’re trying to chart a safer and more effective course for dealing with chronic pain,” said CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden, in an interview with The Associated Press. “The risks of addiction and death are very well documented for these medications.”

Holistic Therapies for Recovery & Overall Well-Being 
If chronic pain has led you to opioid abuse, Complete Harmony has a recovery path to help your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Our model for hybrid addiction treatment includes comfortable detox and holistic therapies like massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. Call 866.930.4673 to speak with our caring admissions specialists. Your path to a healthier, sober life is just a phone call away!


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