Beyond Prevention Focused Interventions
By Katy Brown, Jean McClurken, Kristen Marino, Belinda Rogers and Courtnay Ryan
Standing Orders for Naloxone
Grocery store pharmacies, public health departments, and the mailbox at home. What do all three of these have in common? Standing orders and naloxone access. That’s right. Move over bad cable advertising brochures, now patients can get naloxone by mail. States are stepping up to the challenge of giving prime time access to this life-saving medication whether patients are shopping for weekly groceries, visiting the clinic, or checking their mailbox. You might even say that naloxone is easier to get than a discount on cable.
Katy Brown is a Doctor of Pharmacy, Senior Program Manager, concerned mother of teenage children, and live streaming advocate. Dr. Brown is a proponent of programs that mitigate harm and achieve non-traditional methods of reaching those who need help, when they need it, where they need it.
Disease Model of Addiction
Meet the defending champion for addiction treatment: the Disease Model of Addiction, focused on coordinated behavioral health treatment available across all levels of care. This champion fights for the right of every individual battling addiction, including those on the front line of the opioid epidemic, to have access to affordable, high quality, evidence-based treatment across multiple levels of care including inpatient and outpatient settings. Addiction is a deadly disease and not something people can fight alone. Coordinated comprehensive treatment across medical and behavioral health specialties is crucial to treating those addicted and saving lives.
Jean McClurken is an ardent supporter of the disease model of addiction. She has been a direct clinical practitioner of behavioral health treatment across multiple levels of care for the past 10 years holding LAC and LCSW licenses across multiple states. Jean currently supports utilization management for behavioral health services across State Medicaid contracts at Telligen.
Social Determinants of Opioid Addiction
Not addressing Social Determinants of Health as it relates to the opioid epidemic is like trying to drive a car without gas, you’ll get nowhere. Research demonstrates that interventions that aim to reform housing, employment, access to care and community engagement pave the way in positively impacting the opioid epidemic.
Kristen Marino is a Senior Quality Improvement Facilitator, team leader for opioid harm reduction and behavioral health access, and she drives an SUV with a watchful eye on the gas tank gauge. Kristen is passionate about the communities she serves and lives in and recognizes nobody is immune to the impact of SDoH and addiction.
Like COVID-19, opioids do not just affect the person addicted, they also affect those in close proximity to the person addicted—family, friends, co-workers, etc. Opioid Use Disorder can even lead to social isolation and ultimately death. Virtual medication-assisted treatment (MAT) through telehealth is showing promise as an effective means of caring for those addicted to opioids. As more and more states approve MAT through a virtual platform, it has the potential to become the new normal. COVID-19 and opioid addiction has caused and continues to cause great harm, but adjusting to new virtual MAT options can have long and lasting promise.
Belinda Rogers is a Senior Quality Improvement Facilitator, team leader for patient safety and care transitions and staunch advocate for virtual health care. Belinda is passionate about caring for and educating others about new and innovative ways to utilize technology in providing care virtually.
Creative Outlets for Pain Management
Pain can make patients feel isolated or misunderstood, tirelessly searching for ways to express their thoughts and feelings, especially during these times of social distancing. Live video chatting with support groups, friends and family does not always sync up with their ability to connect in real-time. Do you know there are virtual apps that allow patients to watch and respond when it works for them? Many even include fun features to creatively connect with others, like writing, drawing, and recording face-to-face conversations via personalized videos for viewing when it works for their schedule.
Courtnay Ryan is a Sr. Quality Improvement Facilitator and member of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse and Prevention. Courtnay and her family utilize apps to send personalized videos to her aunt who suffers from chronic foot pain and is unable to visit family in person.