This opinion piece is authored by two of AACIPM’s advisory and planning committee members. This was published in Morning Consult on December 13, 2020.

With more than 47,600 Americans dying from opioid overdoses in 2017 alone, our nation’s opioid crisis is devastating people, families and communities across the country.

As efforts to combat this national crisis continue, we must not overlook that the roots of the opioid overdose epidemic lie in inadequately managed pain — especially chronic pain. Today, 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, nearly half of whom are living with pain that significantly impairs their ability to go about their daily lives. This includes millions of people who are still employed and trying to manage their symptoms.