Opioid Epidemic, Part 2: What to do?

Charles_Pearce_MD_blog

Dr. Charles Pearce is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician with Madison Emergency Physicians (MEP). MEP physicians staff the Upland Hills Health Emergency Department for both emergency and urgent care needs.

 

How do you treat an opioid overdose?

  • Supportive care: open individual’s airway, provide oxygen, and other measures to protect a person from aspirating
  • Give reversal medication (antidote) Naloxone (narcan)
  • Naloxone can be given in the nose, through the IV and even nebulized (vaporized)
  • Most opioids last longer than naloxone and thus additional doses may need to be given

How do you treat opioid addiction and the epidemic?

  • Addiction counseling and opioid replacement therapy (methadone or suboxone) or opioid blocking medications (naloxone by mouth or vivitrol)
  • Changing prescribing habits and behaviors from providers through guidelines
  • Electronically monitoring prescriptions by individual and provider (ePDMP) to limit over prescribing

What is Upland Hills Health doing to combat the opioid crisis?

We have been involved in the creation of a Substance Abuse Taskforce in Iowa County wherein members of a variety of organizations in Iowa county work to prevent and treat opiate abuse, overdoses and deaths. The hospital works with local law enforcement and local rescue squads to provide a lower cost resource of narcan (reversal medication for overdose). The emergency department and hospital providers work to curtail inappropriate opiate prescriptions and we provide as much education to community members in a variety of different medias as we can.

Learn more about the Opioid Crisis in Iowa County: