NY Times: The Opioid Dilemma: Saving Lives in the Long Run Can Take Lives in the Short Run
What does forced opioid tapering do to chronic pain and illness patients? “In the short term, many policies that would limit opioid prescriptions for the purpose of saving lives would cause people to turn to heroin or fentanyl. In fact, over a 5-to-10-year period, that would increase deaths, not decrease them, according to a simulation study published in the American Journal of Public Health.” That’s not exasperation with the article’s author, Austin Frakt. I’m extremely happy he brought attention to this on such a big platform. My exasperation comes from the fact that this conclusion is SO. DAMN. OBVIOUS. How many patients need to commit suicide before anyone listens to us? “Amie Goodin, a researcher with the University of Florida College of Pharmacy who wrote an editorial accompanying the opioid policy simulation study, said, ‘Current policies to limit opioid prescriptions leave some pain patients high and dry, resulting in a new wave of unintended consequences for patients with untreated chronic pain.‘” Read this article here.