Features  |   February 2020
What Can ERAS Programs Teach Us About Opioid Usage?
Author Affiliations
  • Richard J. Pollard, M.D., FASA
    Committee on Patient Safety and Education
  • Joseph F. Answine, M.D., FASA
    Committee on Patient Safety and Education
  • Steven Young, M.D.
    Committee on Patient Safety and Education
  • Fred E. Shapiro, D.O., FASA
    Committee on Patient Safety and Education
Article Information
Pain Medicine / Pharmacology / Features / Opioid
Features   |   February 2020
What Can ERAS Programs Teach Us About Opioid Usage?
ASA Monitor 2 2020, Vol.84, 12-14.
ASA Monitor 2 2020, Vol.84, 12-14.
Opioid misuse and addiction have had devastating consequences for communities across the United States. In 2017, it was estimated that 47,600 Americans died from an opioid overdose.1  In 2018, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that approximately 10.3 million people misused opioids that year.2  Naloxone (Narcan), an opioid intervention agent, has been shown to decrease opioid deaths.3,4  Prescriptions for this drug have increased by 315 percent during the years of 2016-18 and by a staggering 43,335 percent when one looks back to 2012.5  There continues to be evidence that prescription opioid use serves as a gateway for the use of nonprescription opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl. One recent study reported rates of patients continuing to take narcotics after the postoperative period as ranging from 5.9 to 6.5 percent, suggesting that the use of these addictive medications after surgery is becoming increasingly common.6 
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