New research has shown that better physician training and monitoring could help reduce the rate of opioid abuse. In the last decade opioid abuse has skyrocketed and this has only gotten worse in recent years thanks to pill mills and physicians that over prescribe these powerful pain medications. The latest research shows that better training for physicians can result in better patient monitoring when patients are on these potent painkillers. Researchers also stress that timely communication and effective monitoring are both key to reducing the abuse of opioid drugs. The goal is to lower the rate of addiction and prevent this issue while providing patients with appropriate care for conditions that cause chronic pain. Managed care plans and programs often demand that primary care physicians be the ones to provide care for patients with chronic pain yet these doctors may not have adequate training in pain management.
Many health care professionals including primary care physicians are hesitant to prescribe opioid medications for chronic pain because this can involve a long term commitment. The latest research on opioid abuse and physician training and monitoring shows that PCPs can be more confident when they prescribe opioid pain medications, and there was a significant improvement in the patient risk identification so that patients at risk for opioid abuse were identified early on. When primary care physicians had access to pain management specialists and they enjoyed close communication with these specialists they also had more confidence when prescribing and monitoring opioid use for chronic pain.