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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) recently released new opioid prescribing guidelines for chronic pain that are more stringent than those released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the recommendations are widely supported practices for reducing opioid misuse and abuse, such as reducing the concurrent use of benzodiazepines and opioids, employing risk mitigation strategies and avoiding prescribing of extended release/long-acting opioids for acute pain. Other recommendations are highly concerning and may unintentionally and unnecessarily harm veterans, says Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain’s national director of policy advocacy. Supporting veterans and military service members with chronic pain is one of U.S. Pain Foundation’s key national policy priorities.

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