Prescribing Narcotics in the ED: A Rational Approach in a Changing World

A nice discussion that builds on some of our previous blogs:

Anatomy of a Super ER

“Cure Sometimes. Treat Often. Comfort Always”  – Hippocrates (400-ish BC)

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What is doctor to do?  We have a mandate to treat pain and relieve suffering, but some of the best medications available have high abuse potential and are involved in an epidemic of unintended morbidity and mortality.

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Do we as physicians prescribe too many narcotics?  Specifically do we emergency physicians prescribe more than we should? As with much else in medicine the evidence is complex and at times contradictory.  Some examples of the argument that we are not aggressive enough in the treatment of pain are the following (click on them to access links):

If you have spent any time looking 

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