Since 1999, prescription opioid sales have quadrupled in the U.S. Early in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to publish new guidelines for prescribing opioids, drugs like OxyContin and Percocet. The guidelines are only advisory. They’re not mandatory regulations, but doctors are divided over how far the CDC should go to discourage opioid prescriptions.
“There are populations of people who have chronic pain caused by conditions that are not terminal who use medications appropriately, don’t divert them, don’t overdose on them and actually improve their function and are able to live better. We have a moral responsibility to address pain and suffering.”