Long-Term Opioid Therapy Reconsidered: Addiction is Not Rare in Pain Patients

January 8, 2013, 12:33 am

Several weeks ago, TPR posted about a Wall Street Journal article describing the genesis of the “Pain: the 5th Vital Sign” meme over the last decade or two. The article focused on one pain specialist — Dr. Russell Portenoy — who was instrumental in the movement to destigmitize opioid use for chronic pain and push for more general use. In an interview, Dr. Portenoy now says: “Clearly, if i had an inkling of what I know now then,I wouldn’t have spoken in the way that I spoke. It was clearly the wrong thing to do”.

Portions of that interview are included in this short video, posted by the group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. In the context of the WSJ article and a similar recent piece in the Washington Post, it is startling and infuriating to hear the words actually come out of Dr. Portenoy’s mouth.

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