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How Employers Can Advocate for Safer Opioid Treatment

Mar 03, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • Opioid prescribing practices have put patients at risk for addiction.
  • Health care institutions are developing new approaches to pain management.
  • Learn how employers can advocate for safer more effective treatment.


The opioid epidemic can be linked to prescriptions dispensed by physicians for chronic pain when pharmaceutical companies assured physicians that opioids were effective for pain management with minimal risk of addiction. There are links between greater opioid use and mental health disorders, too.


51% of opioid medications distributed in the U.S. each year are prescribed to adults with mental health disorders.


In response to this epidemic, opioid prescription guidelines have been developed for the health care community to follow in its pain management plans.

Health care institutions are also developing new approaches to pain management, such as substituting opioid prescriptions with alternative methods of pain control, educating providers on alternative treatment options, and providing them with tools to appropriately assess, educate, and support their patients. Three case studies detail these results.

Employers can advocate for improved approaches, too. Through their relationship with their health insurance carriers, they can influence network physicians in their prescribing practices.

Employers can ask themselves whether they’re providing access to resources, including substance use disorder counseling, workplace flexibility to promote effective return to work, and de-stigmatizing campaigns.


Read More

To learn more,
read Opioid Epidemic: How Employers Can Advocate for Safer and Effective Treatment  PDF opens in a new window.




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