A changing landscape of opioid prescribing in emergency medicine

Christopher A Griggs, Christian J Schulz
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2018 October 21
Emergency Medicine providers are grappling with the dual challenges of adequately treating pain while avoiding the risks associated with opioid pain relievers. The aggressive treatment of pain with opioids for the last three decades has resulted in an epidemic of opioid use disorder and opioid related mortality. This editorial discusses the findings in a study of emergency department (ED) opioid prescribing by Yang et al. and explores the changing landscape of opioid prescribing in emergency medicine. We specifically discuss risks associated with opioid prescribing, strategies to reduce risks while improving pain management, the role of advanced practice providers in ED opioid prescribing, and the importance of further education on opioid sparing pain management strategies.

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