Opioid Therapy Statement

The physicians at Columbia Pain Management, PC are here to change your life by reducing your pain and improving your daily functioning. We do this with safe and effective comprehensive treatment plans that reduce risks and maximize benefits.

We go to great lengths to protect our patients from the significant risks that are associated with opioid therapy which are also known as narcotic medications. We stringently follow DEA and other professional society recommendations regarding prescribing opioid medications. Further, we only prescribe opioid medications if we determine that a patient’s pathology warrants their use, the patient satisfies specific criteria, the patient has failed other lower risk treatment options, and that there is a reasonable expectation for prolonged functional improvement.

We typically do not prescribe high doses of opioid medications as research continues to show that this regimen has much greater risks for patients with few long-term benefits as compared to lower doses. We believe that if you suffer from pain, we can help you. We successfully treat all types of pain with our comprehensive treatment plans. Our treatments are safe, minimally invasive, and clinically proven to be highly effective.

Long-term Effectiveness of Opioids for Chronic Pain

Opioids offer an appropriate and safe treatment for some but not all patients with non-malignant chronic pain. Patients on opioid therapy for chronic pain require close monitoring and surveillance to assess for functional benefits and minimization of harm. Most patients who trial opioid medications for long-term pain discontinue them due to lack of efficacy or side effects. No treatment should be continued without benefit.

More evidence is available on harms of long-term opioid therapy than benefits. Controlled observational studies suggest that, compared with no opioid use, opioid therapy for chronic pain is associated with increased risk for overdose, opioid abuse and dependence, fractures, myocardial infarction, and use of medications to treat sexual dysfunction. Some forms of opioid medications may be safer to use than others in certain circumstances. The use of opioid medications in combination with other sedating or centrally-acting drugs is considered dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

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