Perscription pills are becoming an epidemic in America. It is clear that new laws have to be passed to stop the wide spread of opioid abuse. “The United States is in the midst of a crisis regarding the abuse of prescription drug opioids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. death rate from prescription opioid overdose now exceeds the combined death rates from heroin and cocaine.
Acute care settings are a major source of opioid prescriptions, often for minor conditions and chronic noncancer pain. Emergency physicians have identified themselves as targets for patients who seek opioids for nonmedical purposes. Given the difficulty in striking a balance that provides appropriate analgesia for patients without creating or exacerbating drug dependence, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends the synthesis of pain management guidelines and the creation of clinical decision support tools.
Temple University Hospital (TUH) and Temple University Hospital-Episcopal Campus (TUH-Episcopal) were among those that created a guideline for prescribing opioids in order to maximize safety and avoid misuse.”
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“The impact of this type of guideline had never been studied in an acute care setting,” says Daniel del Portal, MD, FAAEM, Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Assistant Director of Clinical Operations at TUH and Jeanes Hospital, and principal investigator of the study. “We hypothesized that the rate at which opioids were prescribed in the emergency department for dental, neck/back and chronic pain would decrease after adoption of the guideline. We also hypothesized that physicians would support the use of the guideline.”