4 ways healthcare providers can fight the opioid crisis locally

If the United States is to successfully curb the rates of opioid abuse among its citizenry, providers will play a crucial role in facilitating such progress, according to an article published in NEJM Catalyst.

 

In the article, Mara Laderman, a senior research associate with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and Lindsay Martin, a member of the improvement and innovation faculty with IHI, write, "Physicians, nurses, and other practitioners have important roles to play combatting (sic.) opioid abuse — which may be a new and uncomfortable role for some, but essential to turning the tide."

Here are four tasks providers can take on to address the opioid crisis in their communities, according to the article.

Reduce the supply of opioids circulating the community by altering prescribing practices, providing nonopioid alternatives for chronic pain management and checking their state's prescription drug monitoring program prior to prescribing opioids.

Raise awareness about opioid addiction among the community by educating patients and their families about the risks involved with taking prescription opioids, as well as identifying the patients at the highest risk of addiction.

Treat opioid-dependent patients by learning to recognize the symptoms of opioid use disorder and working to curb opioid use among patients who do not appear to be benefiting from opioid therapy.

Work with community organizations combating the opioid epidemic by providing healthcare expertise to these organizations and remaining open to new approaches and partnerships.

To read the complete article, click here.

More articles on opioids: 
Risk of death among patients with opioid abuse disorder 10 times higher than general population 
Nearly 750 NPs, PAs given authority to prescribe anti-opioid addiction drug 
Study: Nonopioids are just as effective as opioids for treating arthritis, back pain

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