It is important that opioid therapy be offered as part of a larger treatment plan that may encompass other, non-pharmacological interventions. These may include:
- Regular exercise.
- Stress management techniques.
- Physical therapy.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
The treatment plan should also include a review of expectations, including:
- Regular attendance at all appointments.
- Pill counts.
- Urine drug testing.
- The use of only one provider and pharmacy to receive prescription medications.
- Refill and renewal policies.
When developing a treatment plan, it may be helpful to assess the following areas:
Sources: These recommendations are based on expert consensus, as well as the following articles:
Gourlay DL, Heit HA, Almahrezi A. Universal precautions in pain medicine: a rational approach to the treatment of chronic pain. Pain Med. 2005 Mar-Apr;6(2):107-12.
Nicolaidis C. Police officer, deal-maker, or health care provider? Moving to a patient-centered framework for chronic opioid management. Pain Med 2011;12(6):890-897.