Chronic pain is recognized as one of the most common reasons for medical visits (Bertin et al., 2021). These visits frequently lead to opioid prescriptions for treatment. Since 2013, the opioid-related overdose epidemic has placed an undue burden on the healthcare system (Dahlby & Kerr, 2020). The increase in opioid prescriptions over the past two decades has increased rates of misuse and addiction in patients suffering from chronic pain (Bertin et al., 2021). From a public health perspective, these rates indicate a need for greater collaboration and coordination of care among healthcare providers (Dahlby & Kerr, 2020).
Objectives/Strategies/Interventions/Next Steps: The main objective of this project is to increase awareness of the addiction potential of opioid medications when being prescribed to chronic pain patients. The next objective is to implement strategies to help physicians and patients prevent opioid use disorders. Intervention will include identifying risk and protective factors to evaluate how they may affect one’s abuse potential. Physicians treating chronic pain patients should be knowledgeable about the medications being prescribed and educate patients when writing prescriptions. Interdisciplinary teams consisting of physicians, case managers, pain pharmacists, and palliative medicine, should be utilized as standard practice to ensure the whole person is being treated effectively. Additionally, patients should be offered alternatives to pharmacological treatments such as yoga, acupuncture, and physical therapy. Next, the implementation of an evidence-based program like the Transitional Care Model can be modified to help support chronic pain patients being discharged home from the hospital on opioids.