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

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 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 on social media.

In Other News...

MCCH May 2015 Support Group Dates

MURRAY, Ky. (4/25/15) — Murray-Calloway County Hospital will be offering several support group meetings during the… Read More

18th Annual Jeep Jamboree Returns to Turkey Bay

KENTUCKY (4/25/15) — Jeep owners will soon travel to Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area at Land Between The Lakes for… Read More
1 DOW 18,080.14
+21.45 (0.12%)    
2 S&P 2,117.69
+4.76 (0.23%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,092.08
+36.02 (0.71%)    

Most Read This Week

April 17, 2015 12062

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 7590

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 5805

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 20, 2015 4912

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 24, 2015 4189

UPDATE: Police Can't Substantiate Injured Man…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 12062

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8829

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 25, 2015 1251

Above and Beyond: Wade Simons

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 1005

Elementary Girls in Good GRACES with Unique…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 843

Planning Commission Approves Zoning Amendments…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 766

Superheroes ‘Bowl for Kids Sake’

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 716

Focus on Hopkins County: Interview with Sheriff…

by Tim Thomas
April 25, 2015 626

Webster County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
April 25, 2015 558

Tobacco Quitline Callers Eligible for Extra…

by Beth Fisher
April 25, 2015 512

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 495

Keeping the Faith - 'To Die Trying'

by Ronnie McBrayer
April 25, 2015 468

Hooked on Science - 'Magnetic Money'

by Jason Lindsey