Discontinuing opioids: Do’s and don’ts

Do Don’t
Frame the discussion in terms of safety and efficacy, consistent with the treatment agreement
Present your reasoning in a considered manner
Focus on the treatment and the patient’s response to it
Emphasize your commitment to the patient’s well-being and details of the new treatment plan (ie, nonabandonment)
Respond to emotional distress with empathy
Debate your decision with the patient
Use accusatory or blaming language
Focus on the patient’s character or use labels (eg, “drug addict”)
Abandon the patient
Allow empathy to change your decision on discontinuation