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	An estimated one in four adults with arthritis are affected by severe joint pain.Prevalence of Severe Joint Pain Among Adults with Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis — United States, 2002–2014

Severe join pain (SJP) is an increasingly common problem affecting almost 15 million U.S. adults with arthritis in 2014. It can limit an individual’s ability to perform basic functions and adversely affect their quality of life. There is insufficient evidence for, and serious risks associated with, long-term use of opioid therapy for treating chronic pain. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain recommends methods such as exercise therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and the use of acetaminophen and NSAIDs for patients requiring long-term pain management, such as those with SJP from arthritis.

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An analysis of Washington prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data revealed that multiple provider episodes (MPEs) vary by age group and class of prescription drug. Opioids and opioid combinations had the highest number of days of overlapping prescriptions, and eight opioids had a mean daily dosage greater than 120 morphine milligram equivalents (MME). Findings indicate that MPEs, overlapping prescription, and mean daily dosages over 100 MMEs are patient risk factors to look for in PDMP data.

Maine’s PDMP data was analyzed to examine several patient risk measures for prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose. Patients aged 35-54 had the highest rate of MPEs, and opioids were the drug class most frequently involved with MPEs. However, the rate of MPEs declined from 2010 to 2014, and this coincided with an increase in prescribing of buprenorphine, widely used in treating opioid dependence.

	Assess. Manage. Monitor. Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain