Two sides to the opioid crisis

Anne Fuqua, a former nurse, recently shared her opioid crisis story in the Washington Post. But it’s not the story you might be expecting to hear. Anne isn’t suffering from addiction. Instead, she suffers from pain and spasms caused by dystonia. Anne can’t take many of the medications typically prescribed for her condition, but, for reasons her doctor can’t explain,…

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Ten EDs reduce opioid use by 36%

Ten hospitals in Colorado participated in a 6-month pilot project (Colorado Opioid Safety Collaborative) to reduce opioid use when patients present to the emergency department (ED) with pain. Their goal was to reduce use by 15%, but instead the reduction was 36% on average. The overall decrease amounted to 35,000 fewer opioid doses than were prescribed during the same period…

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Opioid and non-opioid analgesia during surgery

Understanding how and why anesthesia providers select analgesic agents. Takeaways: Many options exist for managing intraoperative and postoperative surgical pain. Medications used for pain management can be broken down into opioids and non-opioids. Each medication has specific indications and considerations a postanesthesia care unit nurse must be mindful of when monitoring patients in a postoperative setting.

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The opioid crisis and the matter of consent

Lives in the balance By Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN It’s 3 am and you’re called to an apartment complex for a person down. You arrive and find a 22-year-old man you know as a heroin addict and a “frequent flyer.”

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NP role in medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder

Combine medication and counseling with shared decision-making to treat addiction. Takeaways: Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), an evidence-based intervention for opioid use disorder and withdrawal symptom management, combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapies. Barriers to MAT include stigma, financial constraints, federal laws, and nurse practitioner lack of confidence. Nurse practitioners can help identify OUD early, develop individualized care plans, and provide supportive,…

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