Last March, the CDC issued new guidelines for prescription opioids (aka opiates, narcotics) in response to a surge in opioid-related overdoses and deaths. According to the CDC, “overprescribing opioids—largely for chronic pain—is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic” and leads to more than 40 deaths each day. Legislators in various states have responded to the CDC's announcement by imposing legal restrictions on physicians who prescribe these painkillers.
While dependency and overdosing are serious problems associated with opioids, patients who need prescription painkillers to control persistent pain that does not respond to over-the-counter medications may be harmed by legislation that restricts their access to effective pain blockers. These are patients who suffer from fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), chronic back pain, TMJ disorder, traumatic injuries, and conditions involving the nervous system. These conditions will not resolve after short courses of medication and may not be responsive to other forms of treatment.
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