Opioid medications are most commonly prescribed for chronic pain; and are the drugs most often misused, abused, or diverted; and are associated with deaths from overdose.
Recent decades have resulted in attempts to improve the identification and treatment of pain. In the past, opioids were often avoided for pain management because of the fear of addiction, but as knowledge about pain increased, they became more liberally dispensed.
Along with this rise in opioid prescribing and dispensing, there has been an equal rise in opioid addiction and abuse. As a result, clinicians have returned to the fear of addiction and have become, once again, reluctant to prescribe them. It is imperative that healthcare professionals understand their role in managing pain as one of their primary obligations and responsibilities.