Chronic pain is a lot like love — both the definition and treatment of them is subjective and highly personal. Unfortunately, for years, the medical industry has been treating the former with additive drugs. For many in pain, this had disastrous results.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has waded into the opioids controversy with new rules for the physicians who treat those with chronic pain. Henceforth, the process will end (only in worst case scenarios) with opioid treatment rather than beginning there.

The CDC guidelines are a response to the upward trajectory of annual deaths due to opioids, as well as to the high cost of such drugs. And, the CDC says in its guideline introduction, they often don't work.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.