A new study suggests many patients who are taking a high dose of opioid medication to treat chronic pain are willing to taper off their medication if they are given guidance in how to cope with pain without drugs.
In many cases, patients who are able to taper off opioids find their pain doesn’t increase, and in some cases, it actually decreases, according to Beth Darnall, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Pain Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Darnall spoke about the study at the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. She partnered with a Colorado physician, Richard L. Stieg, MD, who was closing his practice, which included many patients who were taking high doses of opioids. He had inherited many of the patients from other doctors.