In Pain – When No One Knows How to Taper Pain Pills

In 1996, pain became the 5th vital sign in medicine, prompting doctors to rely on opioids for pain treatment. As a result, opioid prescriptions spiked over the next 15 years, causing hundreds of thousands of opioid addictions.

While many doctors were educated on opioid prescribing practices, what they didn’t know – and are still learning – were strategies for tapering patients off of these highly addictive drugs.

Something Dr. Travis Rieder, a Bioethicist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, had to figure out on his own while recovering from a nasty motorcycle accident.

Dr. Rieder recounts his experience with opioid dependency in his book, In Pain, and joins us today to share his story of opioid dependence, withdrawal, and recovery.

Listen to today’s podcast for a first-hand experience of this medical knowledge deficiency, and what must be done to fill the gaps in pain treatment.