7 ways clinicians can help reduce opioid misuse and addiction

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Solving the nation's opioid overdose and addiction crisis will require robust efforts from many sectors, including frontline clinicians, according to a paper from the National Academy of Medicine.  

NAM developed the paper to aid leaders from the National Governors Association as they work with clinicians to address the opioid crisis in their respective states.

Here are seven things clinicians can do to help curb opioid overdose rates.

1. Tell patients that substance use disorders are treatable chronic neurologic conditions that require a sustained treatment approach, like any other chronic disease.

2. Take into account patient risk factors and social circumstances prior to prescribing opioids.

3. Counsel patients on secure storage and safe opioid disposal.

4. Use a prescription drug monitoring database to check for indications of unsafe drug use.

5. Co-prescribe Narcan with opioids to patients at-risk of overdose.

6. Obtain training for medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

7. Engage with the community to promote available substance use disorder treatments for those who need it.

More articles on opioids: 
CVS is now limiting opioid prescriptions 
Opioid overdose deaths chip away at US life expectancy 
NYC police seize 140 pounds of fentanyl — enough to kill 32M people

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