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CLAAD Journal Article Calls for Differential Diagnosis To Reduce Opioid Abuse Among Americans Living with Low Back Pain

Posted on Sep 15, 2015
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Policy Recommendations Urge Federal Awareness Campaign to Educate Practitioners and Patients in Safely Dealing with Chronic Pain

September 15, 2015 – Washington, DC –  The Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD) announced today that its article entitled A Call for Differential Diagnosis of Non-Specific Low Back Pain to Reduce Opioid Abuse has been published in the prestigious Journal of Medical Regulation, a peer-reviewed publication that addresses topics of interest to state medical boards and other organizations and individuals associated with medical licensing and regulation. The article analyzes the effects of misdiagnosis and improper treatment for low back pain and recommends enhancing practitioner education on proper pain management.

Americans are living with high rates of pain. “Approximately 85% of Americans experience some form of back pain during their lifetimes, and for approximately 14%, such pain is chronic,” according to a recent study. These rates are expected to rise in the years ahead.

With prescription drug abuse and heroin use at epidemic levels across the country, the article calls on practitioners to make a differential diagnosis to provide treatment options for patients that best meet their needs. Proper training will help patients achieve better health outcomes and minimize the unnecessary prescribing of controlled substances that could be diverted, misused, and abused.

“Low back pain affects millions of Americans. Treatments that do not expose patients to the risks of controlled substances should always be considered first,” said Michael C. Barnes, CLAAD’s Executive Director and co-author of the article. “CLAAD’s recommendations call for educational efforts improve to the quality of care for people with low back pain while simultaneously preserving access to controlled substances for those who have a legitimate medical need.”

The article can be accessed at jmr.fsmb.org.

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About the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence

CLAAD is a 501(c)(3) organization working to address the nation’s prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic. CLAAD’s mission includes advancing consumer access to high-quality care for pain, addiction, HIV, hepatitis C, and other health conditions. Our National Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Strategy, now in its fourth iteration, has been vetted and endorsed by more than 30 not-for-profit health and safety organizations. For more information, visit CLAAD.org and follow @CLAAD_Coalition on Twitter.

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