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...

Henderson County Woman Sentenced to 125 Months in Prison for Bank Robbery

HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (4/21/14) — A Henderson County, Kentucky woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court this week by… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 17, 2014 4572

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 17, 2014 3577

Meet The Hopkins County Magistrate…

in News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 17, 2014 1958

Bremen Man Charged for Possession of…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 17, 2014 1826

Watson Family Tragedy Inspires Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 18, 2014 1607

Daviess County School Board Hears…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 17, 2014 4572

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 18, 2014 1311

Talking Teen Trashed Telephone Pole,…

in Top Stories by MPD
April 19, 2014 1139

Fifth Third on Main Street Comes Down

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 18, 2014 1047

Earlington Traffic Stop Results in Meth…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 19, 2014 880

MPD Arrests Juveniles for Reason Rash of…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 18, 2014 1607

Daviess County School Board Hears…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 18, 2014 1497

One Arrested, Another Injured in Single…

in News by J.D. Marksberry
April 17, 2014 359

Owensboro Public Works Declares 'War on…

in Top Stories by Abby Shelton
April 17, 2014 262

‘Big Bugs’ Artist Returns to Western…

in Top Stories by Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
April 18, 2014 225

Second Children’s Advocacy Center of…

in Top Stories by Michael Hathaway

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 17, 2014 1958

Bremen Man Charged for Possession of…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 17, 2014 1826

Watson Family Tragedy Inspires Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 18, 2014 1117

Friends of Lake Malone Busy Hiding 1,500…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 17, 2014 1044

Drakesboro Man Charged with Wanton…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 17, 2014 1043

Major Muhlenberg Road Projects Found in…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett

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