The most recent CDC guidelines state that opioids are not first-line therapy for treating chronic pain. Physicians are recommended to consider other courses of treatment first and to recommend a range of alternatives such as physical therapy and other pharmacological options besides opioids.

Buprenorphine can be used for chronic pain. However, this is generally prescribed and monitored by chronic pain practitioners. They may use different formulations of buprenorphine than are used in addiction treatment.