Opioid Safety, Patient Safety

3 Ways Nurses Can Help Prevent Opioid Diversion and Non-Medical Use

Nurses may be able to play a role in helping to prevent opioid diversion and non-medical use.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the United States is “in the midst of a prescription painkiller overdose epidemic”:

Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. Overprescribing leads to more abuse and more overdose deaths.

Prescription Painkiller Sales and Deaths: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/

Prescription Painkiller Sales and Deaths: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/

US is in the midst of a prescription #painkiller overdose epidemic Click To Tweet

In their article, “Nurses’ Role in Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion”, Renee C. B. Manworren, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, PCNS-BC, FAAN (Division of Pain and Palliative Medicine at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center) and Aaron M. Gilson, PhD, MSSW (Director, U.S. Program, Pain and Policy Studies Group, University of Wisconsin–Madison) write:

As trusted patient and family educators, nurses are well positioned to help reduce the occurrence and potentially fatal consequences of prescription opioid diversion. Nurses have the opportunity to provide patients with anticipatory guidance related to prescription medications, teaching them about the risks of opioid diversion and providing information on the safekeeping and proper disposal of opioids that are no longer needed. By tracking patients’ analgesic use, nurses can also improve our knowledge of prescription analgesic requirements for pain management.

Drs. Manworren and Gilson suggest the following three ways nurses can help prevent opioid diversion and non-medical use:

3 Nurses Interventions: http://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2015/08000/CE___Nurses__Role_in_Preventing_Prescription.21.aspx

3 Nurses Interventions: http://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2015/08000/CE___Nurses__Role_in_Preventing_Prescription.21.aspx

3 ways #nurses can help prevent #opioid diversion and non-medical use Click To Tweet

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