Updated: Eight Principles for Safer Opioid Prescribing: From Dr. Lynn R. Webster and the AAPM

Nearly every day I see patients who have medical and neuropsychiatric crises related to medications. Opioids are causing many of them, and the following article highlights one pain specialist’s mission to address the component of this problem for which doctors should be accountable, Eight principles for safe opioid prescribing : Clinical Psychiatry News#.UdQIZ93DEFI.twitter#.UdQIZ93DEFI.twitter#.UdQIZ93DEFI.twitter. I first became aware of this in an article published in the June 2013 issue of Clinical Psychiatry News [1].

Dr. Lynn R. Webster, MDThe eight principles for safer prescribing of opioids created by Dr. Lynn R. Webster, MD, are encoded in a mnemonic, RELIABLE, which is trademarked. In my opinion, it should be free and open access in order to ensure safety in patient care. I’m going to assume that as long as I attribute RELIABLE to Dr. Webster and the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), I can share it with the public and physicians in order to defend the view that all stakeholders should have access to an educational tool that could help prevent injury and death from misuse of opioids.

This update to this post includes the video from CDC above and from a big AMA MorningRounds item I saw this morning about the epidemic of painkiller overdoses and deaths on the rise in this country, which killed 48,000 women between 1999 and 2010. It made the even news on all the major networks. There was a reference to a story about the research effort to find safer opioid treatments, Painkiller Abuse Spurs Search for a Safer Opioid Therapy – Bloomberg. the I’m not so sure we can kill the beast (“…turn this epidemic around.”) as easily as the CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says, but I certainly hope we can at least slow it down.

It isn’t just about addiction. It’s about physician accountability for prescribing painkillers.

1. Miller, N. S. (2013). Eight Principles aim to prevent opioid-related deaths. Clinical Psychiatry News, IMNG Medical Media. 41.

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