At Balcones Pain Consultants, we are keenly aware of the dangers of opiate pain medications. It is estimated that 14,000 people died from opiate prescription overdose in 2014 and this number may be rising.(1) Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued new guidelines for doctors who prescribe opiate pain medications.(2) While these guidelines are intended for primary care physicians, they send a message to all doctors who prescribe opiates and to all patients who take opiates. That message is simple: opiates can be deadly and we need to act to decrease the potential for disastrous complications from opiate therapy. How do we reduce the risks of opiate therapy while balancing the need for pain treatment? At Balcones Pain Consultants, we utilize a multidisciplinary, individualized approach to pain care. We realize there is no single best therapy for pain and that some therapies have significant risks. To that end, we endeavor to develop a comprehensive plan of care targeted to your pain. There are many ways to treat chronic pain that do not involve opiates. We can utilize injection therapy, non opiate medications, topical pain creams, spinal cord stimulation therapy, infusion therapy, behavioral counseling and even your own genes to create a therapeutic plan of care that is safe and effective for long term pain relief. If opiates are prescribed, we strive to keep opiates doses at the minimum effective levels and will find complementary therapies to reduce the need for medications. Together, we can heed the guidelines from the CDC and provide safe pain care that can last a lifetime.