The U.S. Navy has introduced new policies and training devised to keep opioid treatment safe. Long-term patients who use opioid medications for pain management need to be protected against the threat of opioid addiction.
The deputy chief medical officer for the U.S. Navy recently defined a rehabilitation plan to combat opioid addiction. The treatment process would involve addressing the patient’s pain and curb opioid abuse. Hence, better controlling the widespread epidemic.
Navy personnel, Marines and their families who wish to receive care under the new program will need to complete both substance abuse and psychiatric screenings before opioid medications can be prescribed.
On April 11 of this year, Rear Admiral Terry J. Moulton, U.S. Navy deputy surgeon general, stated that Navy is facing the problem head-on with a mindful and methodical approach. Opioid addiction medications are very effective at reducing chronic pain and improving a patient’s quality of life. However, it is our responsibility to ensure that prescription drugs are being used properly, to minimize opioid addiction and abuse.
With the Navy’s plan, medical rehabilitation teams will screen both long-term and new at-risk patients for signs of suicidal tendencies and abuse. Informed-consent forms will have to be signed and patients need to undergo urinalysis to receive treatment. Throughout the process, dedicated clinicians will periodically review each case to determine if opioids are still the best course of rehabilitation.
In addition, to controlled opioid use, the Navy is also promoting alternative pain-control methods such as physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and surgery if necessary.
Cmdr. Leo Carney, the director of Navy Primary Care and Mental Health added that the long-term use of opioid medications over the long-term can be effective for few, specific cases. However, started such treatment and continuing opioid therapy should be an informed course of action.