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...

Boys of Broad to Launch Video at Cinema 4

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (7/28/14) — Just over a year ago, four young men from Central City had a dream of making it in the… Read More

Foot Pursuit Ends with Arrest

DRAKESBORO, Ky. (7/28/14) — A foot pursuit ended with the arrest of a suspect and injuries for him and a Kentucky State… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 24, 2014 3934

Powderly Man Injured in Apparent Gun…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 24, 2014 2841

Madisonville Man Charged for Drugs,…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
July 25, 2014 2212

No One Injured in Truck-Train Collision

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 2082

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Being a…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 24, 2014 1817

Muhlenberg to Have State's Only Honey…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 24, 2014 2841

Madisonville Man Charged for Drugs,…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
July 25, 2014 2212

No One Injured in Truck-Train Collision

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 2082

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Being a…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 28, 2014 1765

Madisonville Man Arrested for Endangering…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 25, 2014 1454

Vehicle Strikes Lawn Mower Driven on…

in Top Stories by Dep. Mike Evans

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 24, 2014 1367

US 231 Ohio River 'William Natcher'…

in News by Keith Todd
July 24, 2014 1084

Maintenance Scheduled at Fisher Park and…

in News by Brittni Bunn
July 24, 2014 920

Portion of Spring Bank Drive Closed…

in News by Sherry Girten
July 28, 2014 621

Zuberer Takes Over at Quarterback for…

in News by Steve LeMaster
July 28, 2014 578

Dont Miss Out on a Howl of a Good Time

in News by Brittni Bunn

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 24, 2014 3934

Powderly Man Injured in Apparent Gun…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 24, 2014 1817

Muhlenberg to Have State's Only Honey…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 24, 2014 1330

Marching Mustangs Band Camp Underway

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 25, 2014 1327

Business Spotlight - McQuady's Automotive

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 25, 2014 1149

Business Spotlight - Blue Moon Car Wash

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, 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