Potential Unintended Harms of Discontinuing Opioid Treatment For Chronic Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Mary Clare Kennedy, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Substance Use Policy and Practice Research
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
University of British Columbia | Okanagan Campus
Research Scientist, British Columbia Centre on Substance Use

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In an effort to reduce opioid-related harms, Canada and the United States have implemented guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. One of the recommendations in these guidelines is that prescribers reduce opioid doses and potentially discontinue treatment when risks outweigh benefits. Concerns have been raised that these guidelines could result in more clinicians inappropriately reducing doses or cutting patients off of prescribed opioids, which could increase the risk of harms such as overdose. However, the effects of discontinuing and tapering opioid treatment for pain on overdose risk have been understudied. 

Chronic Pain Linked to Later Life Pessimism and Joblessness

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Alex Bryson PhD
Professor of Quantitative Social Science
UCL Social Research Institute
University College London  London

Prof. Bryson

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The authors were concerned to know more about both the incidence of chronic pain and its implications for health, wellbeing and labour market prospects later in life.  So we turned to a birth cohort study (The National Child Development Study) tracking all those born in Britain in a single week in 1958 through to age 62 to take a life-course approach.

Drug Stocks Drop When Recreational Cannabis Legalized

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Sarah Stith PhD
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of New Mexico

Dr. Stith

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We studied how the stock market returns of publicly traded pharmaceutical firms responded to medical and recreational cannabis legalization events. Our results show that stock market returns were 1.5-2% lower at 10 days following a single cannabis legalization event and that the annual sales implications from this reduction were in the billions.