Balancing Control And Availability Of Opioid Painkillers In Pain Management

"Because opioid analgesics have both a medical indication and an abuse liability, their prescribing, dispensing, and administration, indeed their very availability in commerce, is governed by a combination of policies, including international treaties and U.S. federal and state laws and regulations. The main purpose of these policies is drug control: to prevent diversion and abuse of prescription medications. However, international and federal policies also express clearly a second purpose of drug control, that being availability: recognizing that many opioids (referred to in law as narcotic drugs or controlled substances) are necessary for pain relief and that governments must ensure their adequate availability for medical and scientific purposes. When both control and availability are appropriately recognized in public policy, and implemented in everyday practice, this is referred to as a balanced approach (American Medical Association?Department of Substance Abuse, 1990; Cooper, Czechowicz, Petersen, & Molinari, 1992; Drug Enforcement Administration et al., 2001; Fishman, 2012; Gilson, 2010a; Gilson, Joranson, Maurer, Ryan, & Garthwaite, 2005; Joranson & Dahl, 1989; Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2011; Woodcock, 2009; World Health Organization, 2011a)."


Pain & Policy Studies Group. Achieving Balance in Federal and State Pain Policy: A Guide to Evaluation (CY 2013). (University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center: Madison, WI, July 2014), p. 17.