Optimizing Opioid Prescriptions for Patients in the Emergency Department—How Much Is Almost Never?

Led by PISC postdoctoral fellow Austin Kilaru, MD, and Senior Scholar Margaret Lowenstein, MD, this commentary piece discusses the impact of emergency department (ED) opioid prescriptions on the US opioid crisis. It questions the conditions in which a patient discharged from the ED needs an opioid prescription, as well as potentially effective strategies for combating both opioid prescription rate and quantity. After focusing on a meta-analysis conducted by Daoust et al, the authors conclude by asserting that, “Preventing unnecessary exposure to opioids is a worthy goal, but any hope to end the opioid epidemic demands increased access to effective treatment for opioid use disorder.”

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