The inherited patient on opioids: A challenge for primary care clinicians

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Abstract

Chronic pain is a common problem, affecting more than 100 million people in the United States, and primary care providers are highly likely to encounter patients on chronic opioid therapy. Initial encounters with a new patient already on high-dose opioids can be difficult and lead to apprehension for both patient and provider. This article describes how to use current opioid prescribing guidelines, conduct a comprehensive pain assessment, and implement risk mitigation strategies to improve patient safety and effectively manage this patient population.

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