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This study updates a previous analysis of trends in medical use and abuse of opioid analgesics, and provides data from 1997 through 2002. Two research questions were evaluated: 1) What are the trends in the medical use and abuse of frequently prescribed opioid analgesics used to treat severe pain, including fentanyl, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine, and(More)
CONTEXT Pain often is inadequately treated due in part to reluctance about using opioid analgesics and fear that they will be abused. Although international and national expert groups have determined that opioid analgesics are essential for the relief of pain, little information has been available about the health consequences of the abuse of these drugs.(More)
Treatment of pain caused by cancer in Italy has been reported to be inadequate for more than a decade. The problem has been documented in the literature by International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) reports that show Italy's low consumption of morphine, and by INCB statements reflecting concern that pain medications are not adequately available to(More)
Preventing diversion and abuse of prescription controlled substances while ensuring their availability for legitimate medical use is an important public health goal in the United States. In one approach to preventing and identifying drug diversion, 17 states have implemented prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) to monitor the prescribing of certain(More)
Opioid analgesics are simultaneously indispensable medicines for the treatment of moderate to severe pain and are harmful when abused. The challenge for governments is to balance the obligation to prevent diversion, trafficking, and abuse of opioids with the equally important obligation to ensure their availability and accessibility for the relief of pain(More)
Access to palliative care is insufficient in many countries around the world. In an effort to improve access to palliative care services and treatments, a public health approach as suggested by the World Health Organization was implemented in Colombia to improve opioid availability, increase awareness and competences about palliative care for healthcare(More)
The pain and palliative care fields are encouraged to learn about government drug control policy and to engage with their governments to examine these policies and their implementation in order to address impediments to patient access to pain management. Although pain management is a necessary part of palliative care, it is often impossible because strict(More)
State laws and regulatory policies govern healthcare practice, including the prescribing, dispensing, and administering of opioid analgesics to treat pain. A number of national healthcare and law enforcement organizations have identified drug regulatory policy as a potential barrier to pain relief and palliative care, and have called for evaluation and(More)
In July 2003, the Center continued its work to address opioid availability in Eastern Europe. Several staff members visited Romania to study the health and regulatory system for making opioid analgesics available for pain relief, and to meet with various units of the national government to understand the issues and begin developing action strategies. In(More)