Occupational Health & Safety

AMA Updates Pain Management Education Program

It emphasizes balancing appropriate pain management and prevention of prescription drug abuse and diversion.

The American Medical Association announced it now offers an updated pain management education program to give physicians up-to-date information on assessing and managing pain, thanks to funding assistance from the Prescribers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies, a group of health care organizations led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry that received grant funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"Maintaining an understanding of appropriate pain management can better help physicians ensure legitimate patients get the pain relief they need while helping to prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion," said AMA Immediate Past President Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus. "Over the past decade, the AMA has offered pain management training to prescribers, and this updated educational program will help physicians better develop the skills needed to evaluate and manage patients with persistent pain."

The organization notes misuse, abuse, addiction, and unintentional poisonings from prescription opioids are a serious public health problem, and a 2011 Institute of Medicine report said 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. "Although some of these chronic pain sufferers benefit from prescription opioids on a long term basis, many others do not benefit or suffer harm. A multidisciplinary approach is often needed to manage these patients," according to AMA's news release.

For more information about AMA's efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and diversion, visit www.ama-assn.org/go/stopdrugabuse.

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