Opioids are a diverse class of moderately strong painkillers, including oxycodone (commonly sold under the trade names OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco) and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin. The potency and availability of these substances, despite their high risk of addiction and overdose, have made them popular both as medical treatments and as recreational drugs. Due to their sedative effects on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, Opioids in high doses present the potential for respiratory depression and may cause respiratory failure and death.
Many parts of the country are experiencing an Opioid epidemic. This means that addictive Opioid drugs have become overused and misused with significant medical, social, and economic consequences, including overdose deaths.
While not nearly as prevalent as in other areas, right here in Pit River country misuse of opioid pain pills is an ongoing concern. Because of the large number of overdose deaths, insurance companies and government regulators have begun to impose more strict controls on how opioids may be prescribed by physicians. As an accredited and federally funded program, PRHS is required to comply with all regulations and best practices for opioid management. And of course, we want to keep our patients and community safe and healthy! That’s the whole point.
Opioids are effective for treating acute pain, but are less useful for treating chronic (long term) pain, as the risks often outweigh the benefits. Given the risks of long term Opioid use, PRHS is reviewing all ongoing narcotic prescriptions and will begin working with patients to determine the best treatment options. We realize that each patient is different; therefore a thorough assessment of every patient will be completed. Many treatment options will be
Our goal is to work with each patient and provide ongoing support and to ensure that pain is managed in a way that supports the best long-term health outcomes.