Statistically speaking, meta-analysis studies are most valuable when the studies included have consistent methodologies, definitions and results. “Simply put, averaging bad data does not create valid data,” he said.”In this case, methodologies were not consistent, and, most glaringly, the data from previous studies had wildly varying results–going from less than 1% in one study of misuse to about 80% in another…
There is little doubt that both chronic pain and prescription medication abuse are problems for society. Part of the overall challenge is our lack of understanding of the depth of the problem,” he said. “Invalid over-estimates of misuse do nothing to help understand true addiction or the recreational misuse of opioids. It only serves to further stigmatize the chronic pain patient…
The doubt arises when prescription medication abuse is heralded as an epidemic, covered by every media outlet, while chronic pain is not.
John S says:
April 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm
Wow- 1 in 3 people in the US suffer from chronic pain. That’s got to be wrong – I think it’s much less and more like 1 in 15 that truly suffer from a Chronic Pain problem. Maybe Dr.’s are being told by drug seekers they have chronic pain but I feel the actual number that suffer the problem is a lot lower. I know of 1 other person out if 50 that has it. Back to the drawing board guys.
Dear Mr. S: If you had read the report, or kept up on news for pain patients, you would know that they’ve lowered that estimate of 100 million. And if you understood all the different types of medical conditions that produce chronic pain, you wouldn’t sound so uninformed. Using your own anecdotal information is evidence of absolutely nothing.
Jay Fleming says:
April 4, 2015 at 8:55 am
Why is it when 16,000 people die in hospitals from NSAID’s it’s a note in a medical journal, when 16,000 people die from opioids it’s a crisis.
Truth is, people with chronic pain will do anything to make the pain stop. How many people commit suicide each year from under treated pain?
I’m sorry some people abuse these drugs, but that’s no reason to not prescribe them.
If a patient abuses their medications and dies, thats sad. If a patient commits suicide because of under treated pain, that’s a tragedy.
Sometimes, patients abuse their medications because their pain is misdiagnosed, mistreated, or under-treated. This also counts as a sad tragedy.
Perhaps the problem lies in including both chronic pain patients and those who suffer from addiction in the same research.