Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters The prescription opioid crisis

How to tackle the prescription opioid crisis

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 04 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6341
  1. Jon Norman, consultant1,
  2. Catherine Caisley, senior pharmacist1
  1. 1Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Kent, UK
  1. jonnorman{at}

Dhalla and colleagues show that we need to face up to a prescription opioid crisis in chronic pain.1 Opioid treatment is, however, well established, and we would have welcomed their views on how individual clinicians should treat this group of patients. We offer simple dos and don’ts based on the actions and behaviours we see every week:

  • (1) Be familiar with national and international guidelines on strong …

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