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Tapering opioids for chronic pain poses a new set of challenges

Millions of patients relying on high doses of opioids to manage their chronic pain have been forced to taper to lower doses amid the opioid abuse crisis, with catastrophic effects to some patients. Doctors and other pain management experts have petitioned the CDC to clarify its 2016 guideline on the prescribing of opioids, and guideline authors acknowledged that "we know little about the benefits and harms of reducing high dosages of opioids in patients who are physically dependent on them."

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