As practicing physicians, we have observed that the problems associated with opioid medications for the treatment of chronic pain are growing rapidly. In primary and specialty care, chronic nonmalignant pain is common, with 20% to 40% of adults reporting chronic pain.1 Opioids are the most common means of treatment for chronic pain; 15% to 20% of office visits in the United States now include the prescription of an opioid,1 and 4 million Americans per year are prescribed a long-acting opioid.2 Opioids have become the most commonly prescribed drug category in the United States, and the increasing prevalence of their prescription closely parallels the increasing emphasis, which began in the mid-1990s, on treatment of chronic pain.2- 4 A partial explanation of why we got to this point is that the lessons learned from the undertreatment of pain in patients with cancer were generalized to patients with chronic pain and no clear end point of cure or death. The practice of using opioids for chronic pain treatment also has been reinforced by continuing medical education classes and state regulations5 encouraging physicians to adequately treat pain.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
Archives of Internal Medicine: 2011-09-12, Vol. 171, No. 16, Author Interview
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.