From the Journals

Opioid deaths in North America predicted to soar



‘Audacious but achievable goal’

The commission calls for a nuanced approach to pain management that prioritizes innovation both in society’s response to drug addiction through policy reform and by supporting the development of new, nonaddictive pain management options.

“Opioids should not be viewed as good or bad, but instead as a class of medications essential to the management of pain. However, opioids also come with serious risks, some of which can be difficult to recognize,” commission member David Juurlink, MD, PhD, said in the release.

“Clinicians should begin learning about responsible pain management prescribing in medical school and continue to learn about it as part of their commitment to continued medical education throughout their careers,” said Dr. Juurlink, with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

Humphreys said ending the opioid epidemic in North America and preventing its global spread is “an audacious but achievable goal” that will require a “dramatic shift in policy and culture where innovation, collaboration, and regulation are encouraged.

“We can save and improve lives by summoning the resources and political will necessary to eliminate the sources of addiction and boldly implement policies that will maximize efforts to treat it,” Dr. Humphreys added.

The study was funded by Stanford University.

A version of this article first appeared on


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