Reader Poll: Will You Adopt New CDC Opioid Guidelines?

March 21, 2016

On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued final recommendations for prescribing opioids for chronic pain to combat an epidemic of prescription overdoses that claims 40 lives a day.

The first of the agency's 12 recommendations states that opioids are not first-line therapy for chronic pain, and that clinicians should first consider nonopioid pain relievers or nonpharmacological options such as exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said clinicians play a key part in reducing the rate of addiction and death associated with these drugs. "The prescription overdose epidemic is doctor-driven," he said. "It can be reversed in part by doctors' actions."

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