Great insight and perspective by Heath McAnally, MD, MSPH, regarding the sometimes reactive, albeit good intentioned, response of gov’t and private entities to the opioid crisis. Worth the read for sure.
Pendulum swings in medicine aren’t new, but damping the oscillation rarely bears such urgency. To paraphrase the original document, we call on our leaders to:
Recognize that opioid tapering requires evidence-based careful selection, patient-centered methods, realistic goals, and close monitoring for adverse events.
Include the expertise of pain management subspecialists at every level of decision-making about future opioid policies and guidelines.
Put a halt to policies forcing opioid tapering/cessation outside the contexts of diversion or unequivocal, documented harm: benefit ratio imbalance
Dr. McAnally is a board-certified anesthesiologist, pain physician, and addictionologist practicing in Alaska (the military sent him there and he decided to stay). If he wasn’t trying to guide people in improving their own lives, teaching medical students to do the same, or writing about it, he’d probably be outdoors right now slogging up a mountain with a good friend or two.