Putting a face on the prescription opioid epidemic: A case report

Jacob L. Taylor, Rebeccah A. McKibben, Matthew DeCamp, Margaret S. Chisolm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Skilled clinical decision making in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain can create unique clinical and ethical challenges, particularly when opioid medications are involved. This report presents the case of a pregnant woman who sought treatment for an illicit opioid dependence, initiated by opioid analgesic treatment of chronic pain. While recognizing opioids' high level of effectiveness for pain relief, the case demonstrates the potential harms of opioid medications for particular patients. Using a framework informed by medical ethics, the report discusses how clinicians might assess the benefits and risks of opioid treatment by careful data gathering, knowledge of the evidence base and patient-centered, shared decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449.e1-449.e2
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Ethics
  • Opioid dependence
  • Prescription drug dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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