More Than 50% of Doctors Are Cutting Back on Opioid Prescriptions
But some physicians worry about the impact of reduced prescribing on their patients with chronic pain. Opioids can often be a poor choice for the long-term treatment of chronic pain, but they also can work for some patients who take recommended doses and rely on them to function on a daily basis.
“In many cases, doctors are walking away completely. They don’t even want to see patients in chronic pain,” said Cindy Steinberg, the policy council chairwoman for the Massachusetts Pain Initiative , a nonprofit concerned with improving the lives of people in pain. She recommends that doctors who cut back on opioid prescriptions should “partner with your patients and stay with them to help find other options.”
“It’s frightening,” Steinberg said, “to be living in that kind of pain and not have help.”