Pain Management & Opioid Misuse
Chronic pain management is a public health concern with significant increases in the use of opioids for pain relief. Family physicians play a vital role in balancing patients’ pain management needs with the risk of drug misuse and abuse. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has assembled a collection of resources to help physicians guide their patients through pain management issues.
Challenges of Pain Management
Chronic pain management is a public health concern with significant increases in the use of opioids for pain relief. There is a corresponding growth in the number of opioids prescribed in the U.S. and the overdose from those drugs.1,2,3 Family physicians and other primary care providers play a vital role in balancing patients’ pain management needs with the risk of drug misuse and abuse.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is dedicated to finding solutions to the crisis of pain management and opioid abuse. We recognize that long-acting and extended-release opioids are powerful drugs that require oversight, but these drugs can be controlled without unduly limiting their proper use. Creating additional prescribing barriers for primary care physicians would limit patient access when there is a legitimate need for pain relief.
This toolkit is designed to help family physicians identify gaps in practice flow, standardize evaluation and treatment of chronic pain patients, and facilitate conversations surrounding pain and treatment goals, as well as identify and mitigate risk. It contains primary care, patient-centered resources that highlight key workflow features in order to streamline delivery and offer best-care medicine.
Chronic pain represents a substantial public health issue with tremendous economic, social, and medical costs. As the percentage of the U.S. population utilizing opioid analgesics for pain control grows, so do the rates of abuse, misuse, and overdose of these drugs. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recognizes the seriousness of the prescription drug abuse problem in the United States. As a medical organization, we must address the ongoing public health responsibility to provide adequate pain management.
The AAFP is actively working toward addressing pain managment and opioid abuse problems in the U.S. through advocacy, collaboration, and education.
Throughout the U.S., states, local communities, and neighborhoods, are experiencing an unprecedented increase in the number of opioid-related deaths. In response to this healthcare crisis The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) and its coalition of 27 national healthcare partner organizations, including the AAFP, formed the Opioid Response Network, formerly known as the STR-TA consortium, to provide training and technical assistance across the country focusing on the local level needs.
This initiative, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, utilizes experienced prescribers and clinicians, including family physicians, in prevention, treatment, and recovery who are collaborating to facilitate access to evidence-based resources.
All 50 states and 7 territories have a designated Opioid Response (STR-TA) team, led by a Regional Technology Transfer Specialist (TTS), who coordinates the implementation of evidence-based practices. Family physicians and other additional consultants are also available to meet the requester's specific needs. Anyone can request Technical Assistance! No special criteria or restrictions in place.