AS SUBMITTED TO USA TODAY. IN RESPONSE TO: “’FIGHTING THE WRONG WAR’: CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS PUSH FEDS TO CHANGE OPIOID POLICIES”

I think the narrative continues to be off. We are asking about why there are guidelines being applied to chronic pain patients and yet a patient dies from withdrawal presumably after being on high doses of medications. This is one of the items trying to be addressed…  that these drugs are powerful, addictive, and have significant consequences, even death. In a controlled environment, this patient very well could have had his dosing appropriately reduced and potentially could have had even better pain relief. His death underscores the importance of helping patients safely get off of opiates. I’m not sure it underscores the importance of maintaining these dangerous doses as purported by the story.

Adam Bruggeman, MD
Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Board Certified, American Board of Preventive Medicine in Addiction Medicine

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