Opioid answers
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Opioid answers

In devising recommendations for how Ohio can prevent more people from falling victim to opioid use disorder, SCOPE extensively reviewed a host of scientific findings. The committee came up with a three-pronged plan of attack after evaluating studies that examined risk factors associated with opioid addiction and reasons why people abstain.

Here is the full report.

The following list highlights just some of the recommendations:

Target Area No. 1: Professional Education

Goal: Increase awareness of opioid use disorder issues among professionals in Ohio – especially doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals – via medical school and continuing education

Recommendations include:

  1. Survey the academic medical programs across the state to find out what they teach about substance use disorder, pain management and treatment options. Use the results to establish core competencies powered by the latest national standards and scientific advances.
  2. Establish continuing education requirements to keep those in all state-regulated licensure programs up-to-date on substance use disorder.
  3. Create a human resources pilot program to share strategies for recognizing opioid use disorder.

Target Area No. 2: Opioid Storage and Disposal

Goal: Decrease the number of opioids available for potential abuse by better targeting who gets opioids, the quantity given in prescriptions and safe disposal practices

Recommendations include:

  1. Support research that helps determine the typical need for opioids after surgery and specific injuries.
  2. Promote safe storage and disposal of opioids to the public, medical professionals and care organizations, while pushing for additional safe disposal options.

Target Area No. 3: Behavioral Economic Approach

Goal: Create behavior-intervention programs for teens and children that go beyond what classic programs such as DARE do to discourage and prevent opioid abuse

Recommendations include:

  1. Develop a knowledge-based intervention program that includes behavioral “nudges” employing social norms, loss aversion and hyperbolic discounting (ideas explained in the report).
  2. Develop a cognitive-behavioral training program that teaches kids to identify their personality type and associated coping strategies, the short- and long-term effects of those strategies, and how to challenge personality-specific cognitive distortions in real life.

Read the full report for further details.