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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Review

Opioid abuse in chronic pain—misconceptions and mitigation strategies.

Volkow ND, McLellan T. The New England journal of medicine. 2016;374:1253-63.

The misuse of prescription opioids has received attention as both a clinical and public health emergency. This review explains the physiological factors that contribute to this epidemic and clarifies current evidence to address misunderstandings about therapeutic opioids and risks involved in prescribing them. The authors suggest enhanced use of monitoring mechanisms and alternative therapies to promote safer methods of pain relief.