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Introduction: Drug Testing in Pain Management

Chronic pain is a leading reason why people visit their primary care physician (PCP) or family healthcare practitioner.  Uncontrolled chronic pain results in unnecessary suffering that can lead to depression, decreased quality of life, and lost productivity.

In the last 10 years, initiatives have heightened awareness of chronic pain, its impact on patients’ lives and livelihood, and the need for prompt and appropriate management.

While treatment of patients with chronic pain has improved, the number of opioid prescriptions written has dramatically increased.  An unfortunate side effect of opioid availability is its misuse, abuse, and diversion—resulting in higher rates of addiction and overdose deaths.

Primary care physicians are on the forefront of care, and many of their patients have chronic pain.  Whether you are a PCP or in family practice—Drug Testing in Pain Managementcan benefit your patients, the public, and your practice.

Family Practitioner Moderates the Video
Bill H. McCarberg, MD, FABPM moderates this panel discussion.  Dr. McCarberg is a family practitioner in Escondido, CA, with a background in pain management.

Dr. McCarberg’s fellow panel members are:

  • Humam H. Akbik, MD, FIPP
    Chief of Pain Medicine at Mercy Health in Fairfield, OH
  • Michael R. Clark, MD, MPH, MBA
    Director of the Pain Treatment Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD
  • Howard A. Heit, MD, FACP, FASAM
    Assistant Clinical Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Arlington, VA

Drug Testing in Pain Management focuses on providing PCPs and family healthcare providers the answers to questions about diagnosis, treatment, and management of chronic pain.  Urine drug testing (UDT) is introduced and discussed as a tool the clinician can utilize to safeguard patients and their health.

PCP Perspective on UDT in Patients with Chronic Pain
Dr. McCarberg offers his perspective as a primary care provider on using urine drug testing in your practice.  He understands the volume of patients you see and the limited amount of time you have to spend with individual patients.

Dr. McCarberg explains the necessity of urine drug testing as part of your treatment of patients with chronic pain.  Many PCPs and practitioners utilize UDT as a step to help safeguard their patients with chronic pain who are on opioid therapy.

During Drug Testing in Pain Management, important aspects about UDT are critically reviewed, and suggestions are made that can help you incorporate UDT into your busy practice.  Furthermore, Doctors McCarberg, Akbik, Clark, and Heit answer questions and provide guidance practitioners like you may be seeking.

First published on: January 30, 2013