Now it's time for Senate to act on opioids

Identified as a physician leader practicing in the pain management field, I welcomed the introduction of HR 5804, the Post-Surgical Injections as an Opioid Alternative Act, by Rep. John Shimkus, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi and Rep. Peter Roskam. I am even more pleased that this bill was included in HR 6, the bipartisan SUPPORT Act. This bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote of 396-14, and is now before the U.S. Senate. Now perhaps more than ever, the USA needs bipartisan efforts to solve our most pressing problems.

The opioid crisis continues to ravage communities all across our country. While this is a broad problem without a single magic solution, one of the best things we can do is to diagnose and help fix the source of pain, not mask it with narcotics. This legislation would make it easier for doctors to perform pain management therapies instead of providing opioid-based prescription drugs that just mask the pain and do not fix the problem. Rather than forcing patients who may have had surgery to manage their own regimen of these potentially addictive substances, precise injections allow doctors to treat the source of the pain and the underlying symptoms in a safe and controlled environment.

Far too often, a person can fall into overuse or addiction after receiving a legitimate prescription for a painful condition. How many families would have been spared the ravages of this terrible disease if they had access to the kinds of medically-managed pain management techniques covered by this legislation?

This bipartisan bill is an important step to reducing the number of uncontrolled access to opioids across the nation, and I commend these members of Congress for their leadership on the issue. Now it is time for the U.S. Senate to act and send H.R. 6 to the president's desk.

John Prunskis. Medical Director

Illinois Pain Instiitute

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