"The nation's top federal health agency urged doctors to avoid prescribing powerful opiate painkillers for patients with chronic pain, saying the risks from such drugs far outweigh the benefits for most people.
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its first ever guidelines for dispensing the morphine-like, addictive drugs, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, said it took the action Tuesday to combat the nation's deadly prescription painkiller epidemic.
guidelines carve out an exception for patients receiving cancer
treatment or end-of-life care. When doctors determine that such drugs
are necessary in other situations, the CDC advises doctors prescribe the
lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.
Americans die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers,
according to the CDC. In 2013, an estimated 1.9 million people abused or
were dependent on prescription opiates.
"'We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently,' said CDC director Thomas Frieden. 'We hope to see fewer deaths from opiates. That's the bottom
line. These are really dangerous medications that carry the risk of
addiction and death.'
"The CDC directed the guidelines to primary
care physicians, who prescribe nearly half of opiates. Doctors aren't
legally obligated to follow the recommendations, which are intended for
adult patients, but such directives often have influence."
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/03/15/cdc-issues-new-guidelines-opiate-prescribing-reduce-abuse-overdoses/81809704/
The Center for Disease Control once again shows its ignorance about addiction. Doesn't anyone else think the rise in heroin use is tied to previous CDC attempts to curb opiate painkillers? People will get their drugs, one way or another. In my opinion, initiatives like these do more harm than good by forcing more people to use street drugs to treat their pain.
"From 2001 to 2014 there was a 6-fold increase in the total number of deaths," from heroin. - https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates