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NSPC is committed to the Responsible Use of Opioids in Managing Chronic Pain

  • Category: News & Events
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Costa G. Soteropoulos, M.D.

At National Spine & Pain Centers, we strive for patient care excellence. As a part of that mission, we are doing everything we can to ensure that opioid medications are used in the most responsible manner in our treatment plans. Given the advances in minimally invasive interventional techniques such as cortisone injections, spinal cord stimulation, platelet-rich plasma therapy and radiofrequency ablation (to name just a few), we can do much more than simply treat the symptoms of pain. We can accurately diagnose the source of the pain, and often, eliminate the need for strong pain medications.

In those cases where medication therapy is deemed to be necessary as part of the overall treatment plan, we strictly adhere to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s opioid prescribing standards. These include:

  • Conducting a thorough physical exam to determine the source of the pain.
  • Collecting a thorough patient history, including use of other medications such as benzodiazepines and sleeping medicines.
  • Assessing patient history and risk of substance abuse.
  • When called for, short-acting opioid medications will be prescribed for the shortest possible duration. This means prescriptions should not exceed a seven-day supply, unless there are documented extenuating circumstances. Prescriptions following a surgical procedure will not exceed 14 days.
  • Developing a tapering plan to achieve lowest possible dose.

We are committed to educating our patients on the safe use of opioids. As a part of our efforts at National Spine & Pain Centers to combat the opioid epidemic, we have been working closely with primary care groups and other medical specialists throughout mid-Virginia about how we, as pain management specialists, identify risk and prescribe responsibly.

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