ASA urges providers to reconsider all opioid use

The American Society of Anesthesiologists issued a statement urging providers to limit opioid use or avoid using them altogether in recognition of Physician Anesthesiologists Week, Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.

Here's what you should know:

1. The ASA recommends providers opt to use opioid alternatives to manage pain or discomfort.

2. ASA President James Grant, MD, said, "Nobody needs a prescription for 30 or 50 opioids and even those who are in major pain and may benefit should only take them for a day or two. There are effective alternatives and many people don't need opioids at all or at least should drastically reduce the amount they take."

3. The ASA drafted advice for patients to cope with pain and discomfort, including:

  • Ask providers about opioid alternatives
  • Manage pain expectations
  • Be an active participant in your own care
  • Limit opioid use and take opioids sparingly
  • Be aware of the side effects associated with opioid use

4. The ASA has launched several initiatives to combat opioid abuse. To find out more, click here.

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