Pain medicine specialists innovate to tackle America’s ongoing opioid epidemic by reducing misuse after surgery

(BPT) - Drug overdose deaths broke records during 2020, and while the pandemic no doubt contributed, surgery plays an often-overlooked role in America’s ongoing opioid epidemic because many patients continue to use their prescribed opioids months after their procedures.

Pain medicine specialists are leading the way in addressing the opioid epidemic by developing strategies to reduce opioid misuse related to surgery, from helping to ease pain before the procedure to ensuring at-risk patients have access to naloxone to prevent an accidental overdose, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).