More than 2 million Americans abuse opioids and more than 90 people die of an opioid overdose every day. Pain management specialists from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) will be among the 3,000+ experts, lawmakers, families and other stakeholders participating in the largest annual conference addressing the opioid crisis, the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit April 22-25 in Atlanta.

Physician anesthesiologist pain specialists presenting at the summit and available for comment include:

Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D. (ASA Pain Committee chair and professor, Rush University Medical Center): Dr. Buvanendran will present “Safer Postoperative Pain Management to Reduce Opioid-related Harm: Two Projects Promising Results” on Tuesday, April 23 and can discuss:

  • How opioid misuse and abuse often begins when pain medication is prescribed after surgery
  • Results of two successful pilots conducted by ASA and Premier Inc. to test a team-based approach to opioid-sparing, post-operative pain management
  • The need for practicing evidence-based multimodal medicine which includes using other therapies and medications to reduce and/or replace opioids
  • The need for continuous monitoring, evaluation and refinement of strategies to reduce opioid misuse and abuse.

Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., MSHCA, FASA, FACHE (ASA president-elect and executive vice president and chief operating officer, Driscoll Health System): Dr. Peterson will moderate “Medical Specialties Collaborate to Address Safe and Effective Alleviation of Postoperative Pain” on Tuesday, April 23 with Dr. Buvanendran and David Ring, M.D., Ph.D., American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and is available to discuss:

  • Legislative proposals addressing postoperative opioid prescriptions
  • How ASA and AAOS are working together to address safe and effective postoperative pain management and optimal opioid stewardship to enhance prevention and limit the need for legislation
  • The importance of open and empathic communication between the surgical team, patients and families to address pain management during recovery from injury or surgery
  • Components of a pain relief toolkit.