The crisis of opioid abuse in the U.S. is well known. What may not be so well known are the ways for clinicians and healthcare systems to minimize misuse of these addictive drugs. This article describes the risks for patients when they are prescribed opioids and the need for opioid intervention. It offers four approaches that healthcare systems can take to tackle the crisis while still relieving pain and suffering for the patients they serve:
Use data and analytics to inform strategies that reduce opioid availability
Adopt prescription drug monitoring programs to prevent misuse
Adopt evidence-based guidelines
Consider promising state strategies for dealing with prescription opioid overdose
Opioid misuse is a public health epidemic, but treatments are available and it’s time for those involved in the delivery of healthcare to change practices.