Health care providers hear what’s working against opioid addiction

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There are things working in the fight against opioid addiction. Several were detailed Tuesday in a summit of health care providers in suburban Nashville.

“We want to keep our patients opioid naive,” said Dr. Julie Bennett with the emergency department at Baptist Memorial in Memphis.

She used that new catch phrase while detailing how her hospital cut opioid use by 56 percent while at the same time increasing patient satisfaction for pain control by 30 percent

There are numerous reasons, but substitutes for opioids are part of it.

“Actually Tylenol and ibuprofen, over the counter, they treat pain very effectively and they are not addictive,” Bennett added.

PREVIOUS: Opioid summit hears Mayor Barry’s story of losing son to drug overdose

(Photo: WKRN)

Her fellow health care providers at the opioid summit clapped at the Memphis findings.

There was also applause for Dr. Mark Slagle at MidSouth Veterans Healthcare Network, who told of cutting opioid prescriptions for Tennessee and Kentucky vets by 36 percent over the last few years.

For part of it, he credited what is called “academic detailing.”

It’s things like better one-on-one communication between pharmacists and physicians who prescribe and being open to more alternatives.

“We are offering complementary and alternative medicine, physical therapy a wide array of resources to help veterans manage their pain.” said Dr. Slagle.

Click here for more on Tennessee’s opioid crisis.