This article from the British Medical Journal, by Jeffery MM et al 2018 Aug. It states that opioid use has not significantly declined over the past 10 years despite efforts to educate prescribers about the risks of opioid abuse, with over half of disabled Medicare beneficiaries using opioids each year, according to a recent retrospective cohort study.
The authors recommend that doctors and patients should consider whether long-term opioid use is improving the patient's ability to function and, if not, should consider other treatments as an addition or replacement to opioid use.
I concur with the authors on their recommendation. Patients should seek out specialists in interventional pain management who have a broad spectrum of management options in their skill set to help these patients. Minimally invasive procedures including regenerative injections and adjunctive medications go a long way to minimizing the requirements for opioids in the management of chronic benign pain.