SWOT Analysis of The Opioid Crisis
This presentation will have information on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of conquering the opioid crisis from a Physician’s stand point.
This information is intended to help physicians come up with a plan to help find other ways to treat and manage pain without prescription pain medication.
A Painful Truth
Opioid addiction in the U.S. has become a huge problem. Sadly most of the opioid addictions have come at the hands of the doctors who have prescribed them.
Managing pain can be a difficult task but it can be done with alternative methods other than prescription pain medication.
May reduce opioid abuse and misuse.
May lower death rates from opioid overdose.
May encourage a holistic approach to managing chronic pain without the use of prescription pain medication.
Opens the door to educate the community on opioid abuse and alternative treatment methods.
Lack of doctors who can assess a patient properly for abuse and addiction history.
Lack of proper funding to train medical providers and other members of the healthcare team on a system that addresses both pain and addiction at the same time.
Unwillingness of physicians to change in regards to learning alternative methods of pain management.
Education and awareness of the opioid crisis and alternative treatment may not change the behavior of the patient.
Increased use of street drugs.
Antidotal treatment such as Narcan.
The FDA is in support of mandatory training on opioids for prescribers, pharmacists and other members of the health care team.
Changing the requirements that must be met before prescribing pain medication.
Offer incentives to physicians and health care members to educate themselves on alternative treatment methods for pain management.
The opportunity to educate the patients and community on alternative treatment methods.
The opportunity to create stronger prescription monitoring programs.
Providers may resist regulations because they don’t want to feel as though they have to practice medicine with restrictions.
Change in regulations.
Federal changes in the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care).
The possibility of funding cuts for substance abuse prevention programs.
Competing priorities for funding.
Fear that the Trump administration will not continue to seek proper funding to address the opioid crisis.
What Can We Do?
I believe that doctors should research and educate themselves on alternative methods to alleviate the pain of the patients. There is acupuncture, physical therapy, non-narcotic muscle relaxers and many more ways to treat pain without prescribing prescription pain medication.
Doctors and other members of the health care team should be held responsible in educating their patient on risks of opioid prescriptions.
Thorough screening should be done on patients who have to be prescribed narcotics.
A program should be implemented in doctors’ offices and hospitals that allow for unused pain medication to be returned. This may help reduce the risk of addiction.
Doctor’s should have specific guidelines set to ensure that their patients are not only treated in the safest way possible but also their patient may only be prescribed the lowest dose of pain medication for the shortest period of time. There should absolutely be no long term prescription for pain medication.
The health care services department should research what grants there are available to fund the programs their physicians need to be properly educated on treatment options.
Implement addiction prevention programs. Encourage the patients to make safer choices , and let them know that it is alright to say no to prescription pain medication.
In conclusion, we have to acknowledge that there is an opioid crisis that physicians play a huge role in.
We have to reduce the amount of opioid prescriptions.
We have to do a better job of raising awareness to patients on the risks of taking opioids.
We must educate ourselves and find alternative methods to pain management.
We must make sure that all patients are treated in the safest way possible and with little to no risk of addiction.
We must stop making access to prescription opioids easy.
Painful Truth. www.urologytimes.com