Tips for Mitigating the Opioid Abuse Problem for Patients Suffering from Chronic Pain

Written by on 5/1/2017 2:17 AM in , , . It has 1 Comments.

Employee Management Tips:

Stopping Diversion
The transfer of opioid analgesics by patients who have received legitimate prescriptions to others can be thwarted with the commitment of all prescribers to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), including mandatory consultation of a PDMP before prescribing. This will identify doctor-shopping patients alongside over-prescribing physicians. Reporting and accessibility idiosyncrasies, however, must be ironed out.

Preventing Overdose
Quadrupling in the past 15 years, 61% of U.S. drug overdose deaths in 2014 were attributable to opioids – with nonfatal ODs even more prevalent. Type, dose, potency, duration of action, history of substance addiction, liver/kidney dysfunction, depression/suicidal tendencies, and previous overdose(s) increase the risk, as does the concurrent prescription of respiratory depressants.

Here, the risk assessment, drug pre-screening, and patient education on risk factors and signs are key. Extreme caution is also warranted for high-dosage or long-acting drugs, along with more frequent follow-up and patient/family member access to naloxone, a fast-acting injectable medicine for the treatment of overdose.

Dealing with Addiction
Methods for preventing addiction parallel overdose-prevention measures, such as risk assessment, drug contracts, regular monitoring, and pre-prescription urine drug testing, are key to success. Referrals for addiction treatment should be used whenever necessary, including specialized or medication-assisted treatment and naloxone access.

Put today’s health issues in the spotlight for the betterment of your workplace with these and other employee management tips from MinnesotaCompAdvisor today.

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