Friday, December 15, 2017
Michael Stone Online

Opioid Alternatives Making Headway But Won’t Lead To Full Phase-out, Physicians Say

As the U.S. continues to struggle with its growing opiate-painkiller problem (33,000 deaths in 2015, the most ever, and an annual $78.5 billion price tag on abuse), physicians and policymakers are ramping up their pushes on alternatives for patients seeking pain relief.

In 2016, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center — a New Jersey hospital that bills its emergency department as one of the busiest in the country — began using opioids as more of a subordinate option.

Physicians there now first treat back pain, broken bones or kidney stones with other available pain tools: trigger-point injections, nitrous oxide, non-opiate medication or nerve blocks.

Read the full story in the Physician Leadership Library.

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