This article gives food for thought.
Cracking Down on Opioids Hurts People With Chronic Pain - Tonic
The current policies are pressuring doctors to reduce longstanding opioid prescriptions. The former regulatory policies encouraged the medical community to prescribe them in the first place.
These patients are having the rug pulled out from under them. Some of them just can't take it and are ending their own lives.
I have nothing against "pain is pain", and giving chronic pain patients as much pain meds as they are ordered. I gave a patient 1000 micrograms of fentanyl over (I don't remember exactly) but around half an hour, per anesthesia orders. It didn't phase him, (didn't phase me), I think, hope, it keep his pain at a dull roar. He was in for an epidural spinal steroid injection for chronic back pain.
My boss asked me about it the next day, I simply told her it was ordered by anesthesia, the patient was on massive doses of pain meds at home, and it didn't do much, if anything to his mentation or breathing. She was fine with that.
It is shocking to think a MD is so stupid as to bluntly, abruptly, tell a chronic pain patient their dosage will be cut. I hate lawsuits, but that doctor should be sued! I'm only an ADN nurse but I can figure out on my own that limiting opioid use does not apply to someone on opioids for many months or years.
However evidenced based studies show that long term opioids are not helpful, and may worsen, chronic pain. I compare this to antibiotic resistance, super bugs. Hopefully everybody is on board with cutting down antibiotic use, (seems it has only taken about 20 years for that to filter down to everyday practice). The same mind set needs to start with opioids use. But not abruptly for a chronic pain, long time opioid user.
Last edit by brownbook on Jun 12