IN AMERICA, “The causes of the opioid crisis are now coming to light and a coherent narrative can be constructed. It seems that the CDC, in attempting to deal with a crisis in the streets [i.e. illicit fentanyl] by restricting treatment of pain in clinics, has created a second very serious crisis, this one involving 18 million patients in moderate to severe chronic pain. These CDC efforts have not addressed the crisis in the streets, one now accounting for nearly 3/4 of opioid deaths. This is a crisis of community economic failure, poverty, social isolation, hopelessness, and serious mental health problems.
Clearly it is time to return to the scientific evidence bearing on these issues, of which there is a considerable body. We now have a fairly clear picture of what needs further study. Innovative RCT designs have been proposed, e.g., EERGW, to test opioid efficacy and dosage variability, to conduct comparative effectiveness studies, and to assess the impact of co-morbidities such as depression. Much is known about how to treat opioid addiction. What is lacking is adequate funding and implementation of treatment programs. Management of chronic pain is complex, labor intensive, requires considerable investment of health care resources, and entails significant risk. Major improvements in training of physicians, health care infrastructure, and reimbursement policies are needed to optimize care and minimize risk.” [SEE REVIEW LINK BELOW].
YET IN AUSTRALIA, it is worth noting most “opioid” related overdose deaths occur due to polypharmacy, not illicit fentanyl, as in America. In fact, “The combination of opioids with a broad range of other pharmaceuticals is confirmed as 412 deaths in 2020.”
[REF: 2022 Penington Institute Report].
We DO NOT have an “opioid crisis” due to illicit fentanyl in Australia [we are NOT America!] As has been pointed out many times before, punishing pain patients by further restricting access to legal prescription opioids, & taking away their mobility restoring pain killers, is NOT a solution for any misunderstood “opioid epidemic.” All this has led towards is an epidemic of untreated pain & an unfounded Fear Of Opioids in both countries.