How does pain management lead to opioid addiction



Unit One: Literature Review Annotated Bibliography


Research Question: How does pain management lead to opioid addiction?

Purpose: To explore the risks involved with taking opioids and how patients are being

warned about them.

Conrardy, M., Lank, P., Cameron, K. A., Mcconnell, R., Chevrier, A., Sears, J., . . .

Mccarthy, D. M. (2015, September 01). Emergency department patient perspectives

on the risk of addiction to prescription opioids. Pain Medicine (Malden, Mass.).


The authors, researchers from the Department of Emergency Medicine and Feinberg

School of Medicine, conducted a study to discover Emergency Department patients’

awareness and thoughts about the risk of addiction involved in taking opioids. The

patients were given an opioid prescription for acute pain. They were then called 4-7 days

later to be surveyed on their thoughts and experience. The results show that while a little

more than half (58.7%) of the patients thought of opioids as addictive, the remaining

patients either disagreed or were not sure. 

The researchers concluded that people did not

know enough about addiction, but did find that it was something patients feared. While

this is a limited sample and the majority knew opioids could be addictive, findings like

these make it evident that prescribers and other healthcare professionals should discuss

the potential abuse involved with these medications to make patients more aware of the

risks of addiction with opioid prescriptions.

Eckel, F. (2015). Pain Management and the Pharmacist. Pharmacy Times, 81(8), 14.

In this article, Fred Eckel, a professor emeritus at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy,

provides a general overview of the pharmacist’s role in pain management. Eckel suggests

that prescribers are so caught up with healing the pain in the best way possible that they

tend to prescribe the heaviest pain medications, also known as opioids, without trying

less abused medications first. He believes that prescribers need to do a better job in

measuring the level of pain in order to determine if the patient actually needs an opioid.

He touches upon a study finding that 25% of patients who receive an opioid prescription

for the first time proceed to use these medications long-term. To conclude his article, he

suggests ways in which to manage opioid abuse, such as using the Prescription Drug

Monitoring Program (PDMP), which offers an overview tracking record of all of the

controlled substances a patient has filled prescriptions for.

Related Questions in management category

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