Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Veterans Affairs Initiative Shows Early Promise in Reducing Use of Opioids for Chronic Pain

soldier flagKENTUCKY (2/25/14) — The Department of Veterans Affairs has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce the use of opioids among America’s Veterans using VA health care.

The Opioid Safety Initiative is a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of Veterans suffering from chronic pain.

Launched in October 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, OSI is already demonstrating success in lowering dependency on this class of drugs. At eight sites of care in Minnesota, OSI practices have decreased high-dose opioid use by more than 50 percent.

OSI incorporates the team approach with the goal of reducing opioid use by alleviating a Veterans’ pain using non-prescription methods.

There is an emphasis on patient education, close patient monitoring with frequent feedback and Complementary and Alternative Medicine practices like acupuncture.

“We have developed and implemented joint pain management guidelines which encourage the use of other medications and therapies in lieu of habit forming opiates,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Early results give us hope that we can reduce the use of opioids for Veterans suffering with chronic pain and share these best practices across our healthcare networks.”

The Opioid Safety Initiative faces the challenge of opioid dependency with an innovative and comprehensive plan that closely monitors VA’s dispensing practices system-wide and coordinates pain management to include patient and provider education, testing and tapering programs, and alternative therapies like acupuncture and behavior therapy.

Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system suffer from high rates of chronic pain.

Each VA facility employs personnel including Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine Specialty Teams and Consult Services, Facility Pain Committees, Pharmacy staff and Primary Care/PACT, and other professionals to accomplish the goals and objectives of the OSI.

VA has developed patient management initiatives including Pain Coach, which is a pain management app available for download by patients receiving pain management treatments, a Veterans’ Health Library, including a Patient/Family Management Toolkit, and resources for Pain Management on My HealtheVet.

All of these applications allow Veterans to better manage their pain without the use of opioids.

VA‘s measurement-based pain care includes the “Pain Scale,” which reduces uncertainty and helps Veterans by discussing the potential benefits of a medication and possible side-effects.

“The Opioid Safety Initiative is an example of VHA’s personalized, proactive and patient-centered approach to health care. We are also using a full-range of support treatments for Veterans, including Complementary and Alternative Medicine ,” said Dr. Robert Petzel, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “We are delivering health care with the patient’s long-term personal health goals at the forefront.”

For more information, Veterans should contact their primary care health team. Visit U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs to learn more.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Swinging for Sadie Raises $6,000 for Scholarship Fund

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (7/23/14) — Sadie Beth Smith lived life to its fullest. The daughter of Brian and April Smith of… Read More

Kentucky Motorcycle Association Donates Funds from Poker Runs to Happy Feet Equals Learning Feet

HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (7/23/14) — The Kentucky Motorcycle Association, District 14 sponsored two Poker Runs during the… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 22, 2014 3680

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 21, 2014 2619

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1972

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 21, 2014 1904

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - July…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
July 23, 2014 1429

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 22, 2014 3680

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 23, 2014 1429

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 21, 2014 1173

Madisonville Fire Chief Announces…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1120

Three Injured in Three-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 909

Families Upset About Piney Groves…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 21, 2014 1299

Portion of Southeastern Parkway Closed…

in News by Beth Cecil
July 22, 2014 968

Alliance for a Drug Free Owensboro and…

in News by Carla Shelton
July 22, 2014 885

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd
July 23, 2014 813

Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance Meeting…

in News by Sherry Girten
July 21, 2014 488

Strahan Selected as Cravens Elementary…

in Top Stories by Julie Ellis

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 21, 2014 2619

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1972

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 1341

Greenville Family Loses Home, Possessions…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 914

Swinging for Sadie Raises $6,000 for…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03