Anesthesiologists and other caregivers have been increasingly grappling with an opioid abuse crisis over the last decade and a half.

The numbers speak of a public health issue of epidemic proportions:

As people of all races, ages and demographics become affected, anesthesiologists are asked for guidance on this crisis. Because we receive more education and training than many other providers on the pharmacology and proper admini- stration of these controlled substances, anesthesiologists are urgently needed in the fight to combat this epidemic.

ASA and its 52,000-strong member ranks are taking the lead in addressing prescription opioid abuse in the media, in our nation’s medical care facilities, and in front of those driving health care policy. This year, ASA created an Ad Hoc Committee on Prescription Opioid Abuse which is identifying common-sense ways to reduce prescription opioid abuse.*

This includes promoting the use of multimodal analgesia and multidisciplinary treatments for the...

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