The United States continues to face an opioid use disorder (OUD) epidemic, with opioid overdoses killing more than 130 people per day.1 In response to the epidemic, policy and regulatory changes have been put in place to significantly decrease the national opioid prescribing rate over recent years.2 While such changes aim to stem the OUD epidemic, they also can have a significant impact on clinicians’ approaches to treating pain in patients living with serious illness. Clinicians, patients, and families may be caught between the OUD epidemic—and the responses to that epidemic—and the need to manage the pain of serious illness.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a workshop to explore the intersection of the OUD epidemic and serious illness care. Here’s what some of the participants said.
Watch the video: Rosanne Leipzig and Ora Chaikin
Watch the video: Cardinale Smith
“There are millions of Americans who are living with serious illness, who are living with pain, who truly do benefit from the analgesic effects of opioids. And the lack of access and the lack of ability to obtain these medications can have real consequences.”
—R. Sean Morrison, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
To learn more about the Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness, please visit nationalacademies.org/SeriousIllnessRT