Why states' opioid prescribing regulations may be a detriment to chronic pain patients

Twenty-eight states have created laws and policies limiting the prescription of opioids to patients. For some individuals with chronic pain, these types of restrictions are more crippling than curative, according to NPR.

The most common regulation  among the states focuses on restricting a patient's first opioid prescription to a number of pills that will last less than a week, while a few states, such as Arizona, have taken a stronger stance. The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, passed in late January, limits most patients' maximum dosage for prescription painkillers.

Since the law's passing, Arizona physicians reported feeling pressure to lower patient doses, even for individuals who've taken a stable opioid regimens for years without any issues.  The lower dose requirements are leaving many patients with severe chronic pain, according to NPR.

Julian Grove, MD, a pain physician at Phoenix-based Pain Consultants of Arizona, worked with the state to help create the law's  prescribing limits.

"We moved the needle to a degree so that many patients wouldn't be as severely affected … But I'll be the first to say this has certainly caused a lot of patients problems, anxiety," he told NPR. "Many people who are prescribing medications have moved to a much more conservative stance and unfortunately pain patients are being negatively affected."

More articles on opioids: 

10 latest developments, findings on opioids
Pill curbs opioid addiction also poisons children
How first responders are handling opioid overdose calls in Florida

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