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FDA Releases New Opioid Guidelines

The Food and Drug Administration has just announced new opioid prescribing guidelines for physicians.

The new guidance is simple.

Narcan is available as a nasal spray, injection and automatic injector and does not require a prescription.

A couple of comments…

Seventy-one thousand Americans died from drug overdoses last year – so this action by the FDA is sensible and may help slow overdose deaths from prescription opioids.

Something else is also needed.

Restraint.

Physicians still all too often routinely prescribe opioids for pain management. Go to any emergency room in the U.S. with a painful injury or a flareup of osteoarthritis and chances are you will be given opioids – often without questions about risk or history.

Opioids are one of the most addictive and therefore dangerous drugs on earth. That is a fact. The epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths over 20 years is proof.

And we know, there are a myriad of effective alternative measures that can be recommended to those in pain.

For those now hooked on illicit opioids – better interventions and treatment are our only hope.

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