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Expert Rev Neurother. 2013 May;13(5):527-43; quiz 544. doi: 10.1586/ern.13.33.

Lessons learned in the abuse of pain-relief medication: a focus on healthcare costs.

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Pain Management Center of Paducah, Paducah, KY 42003, USA.


The increasing prevalence of chronic pain with its major societal impact and the escalating use of opioids in managing it, along with their misuse, abuse, associated fatalities and costs, are epidemics in modern medicine. Over the past two decades, multiple lessons have been learned addressing various issues of abuse. Multiple measures have already been incorporated and more are expected to be incorporated in the future, which in turn may curtail the abuse of drugs and reduce healthcare costs, but these measures may also jeopardize access to appropriate pain treatment. This manuscript describes the lessons learned from the misuse, abuse and diversion of opioids, escalating healthcare costs and the means to control this epidemic.

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