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THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC - A CALL TO ACTION FOR NYPTA MEMBERS!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carla Rosenbaum
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THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC – A CALL TO ACTION FOR NYPTA MEMBERS!

America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic.  Opioid prescriptions have quadrupled since 1999.  In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million opioid prescriptions, enough for every adult in the United State to have a bottle of pills.  As the volume of opioids has increased, so has the amount of misuse, abuse and overdose.

A MESSAGE FROM NYPTA PRESIDENT MIKE MATTIA

               As a parent and a grandparent I am truly scared for the future of my family, our citizens, our state, and our nation.  I am also outraged that for so long prescription opioids have been the first choice in managing pain. 

               This excellent program will assist us in getting the message out and also help to establish physical therapy as one of the first options for managing pain in every community in New York State.

               I implore each of you, regardless of practice setting, to explore how this campaign can assist you in establishing our services as one of the primary choices in managing pain.  I ask this on behalf of the 1.4 million New Yorkers who did not have that option and for scores of New Yorkers that we hopefully can help with their pain without the use of opioids. 

Physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to opioids for long-term pain management and prevention.  As physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, you have a responsibility to understand the full scope of the epidemic and its potential impact on patients and clients.

WHAT YOU MUST KNOW

1.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends non-opioid approaches for chronic pain.     
                In March 2015, the CDC released guidelines which urge clinicians to consider opioid therapy “only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh the risks to the patient.”  Before prescribing opioids, providers are encouraged to check that non-opioid therapies have been tried and optimized.  In cases when opioids are prescribed, providers are encouraged to “start low and go slow” with dosing and to combine with nondrug approaches like physical therapy.  In New York State, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed Part C of Chapter 69 of the Laws of 2016 which lowers the limit for opioid prescriptions for acute pain from 30 to no more than 7 days (exceptions for chronic pain and other conditions are allowed).

2.  The opioid epidemic doesn’t discriminate.          
               Opioid and heroin use have increased significantly across most demographic groups.  “As many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction,” the CDC cites.  Every day more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.  Since 1999, more than 165,000 people in the United States have died from opioid pain-medication-related overdoses.

3.  APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign provides resources for patients and clients.
               APTA has launched a national public awareness campaign about the growing toll of the opioid epidemic and the safety and effectiveness of physical therapy for pain management.  Resources include a downloadable pain assessment that patients can use to facilitate treatment conversations with their health care providers, which can be found on the NYPTA website. 

Visit http://www.nypta.org/page/OpioidCampaign for the pain assessment, additional resources and information on this very important campaign. 


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