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The Opioid Dilemma: Treating Pain During an Overdose Epidemic
August 14 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Presented by the Clark County Medical Society and sponsored by Roseman University College of Medicine and the PACT Coalition.
America has a serious problem with prescription opioids, and it’s not just the problem that immediately comes to mind. That is: it’s not just that they’re killing people. The danger of opioids is now well-known, but the problem is bigger than that. Opioids are both dangerous but also highly effective at treating some kinds of severe pain. What that means is that the healthcare system needs to utilize opioid analgesia, but in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic in which opioids feature prominently, that same system is afraid of these medications. The end result is that clinicians risk both undertreating pain (out of fear of opioids) and overprescribing opioids (because they want to be able to treat pain). This bigger problem is ‘The Opioid Dilemma.’ In this talk, bioethicist and director of the Johns Hopkins Institue of Bioethics Masters program Travis Rieder will use his own experience as a trauma patient to underscore the nature of this problem, and then explore some of the gaps in pain treatment, as well as how clinicians—and institutions—can close those gaps.