What is Opioid Stewardship?
Opioid stewardship describes the steps taken by a community to monitor, evaluate, and improve use of opioids for the purpose of supporting and protecting human life. While opioid stewardship is everyone’s responsibility, it looks a little different for each community member.
For providers, it means staying up-to-date on the current body of evidence behind best prescribing practices and communicating this information to patients. For patients, it means practicing safe handling, storage, and disposal of opioids, as well as considering alternative pain-management practices recommended by providers.
Opioid stewardship is a necessary response to the epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States. Through opioid stewardship, our providers ensure patients access to safe and effective chronic pain treatment while reducing risk of addiction, overdose, and death.
Advanced Pain Care seeks to help patients overcome addiction without the fear of a life of chronic pain. Our expert care team will work with you to develop the treatment plan that best meets your needs and lifestyle.
Opioid Stewardship Guidelines
The CDC Guideline addresses patient-centered clinical practices for using opioids to manage chronic pain in a way that facilitates the highest quality of life. The three main focuses of opioid stewardship from a provider perspective are as follows:
Determine when to initiate or continue opioid therapy for chronic pain management, including selecting non-pharmacologic therapy/non-opioid pharmacologic therapy as appropriate
Establish treatment goals based on a discussion of risks and benefits of therapy, including identifying type, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation of treatment
Assess risk and address harms of opioid use, including mitigation of patient risk through the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data, use of urine drug testing, considerations for co-prescribing benzodiazepines, and arrangements for treating opioid use disorder if necessary
Advanced Pain Care’s Opioid Stewardship Offerings
Advanced Pain Care offers a variety of services and offerings to help you and your provider develop the most effective, least limiting plan of care possible:
- Reassessment of the risks and benefits of chronic opioid therapy.
- Treatment of hyperalgesia (the increased sensitivity to pain that can occur with long-term use of prescription opioids)
- Treatment of tolerance (the inability to achieve adequate pain control that can develop with increasing doses of prescription opioids)
- Minimizing risk of overdose by addressing issues of co-prescription of sedative medication in combination with opiates
- Addressing inconsistent laboratory results found during pain management monitoring
- Emphasizing non-opioid modalities for chronic pain
- Tapered high-dose opioid regimens
- Rotation to safer and less restrictive opioid regimens
- Managing pain and anxiety associated with symptoms of withdrawal from opioids
- Treatment of prescription medication dependence
- Treatment of opioid use disorder
- Treatment of other substance use disorders including: stimulants, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and nicotine
Learn More About Addiction and Treatment
- Yale clinicians pilot new technique to reduce opioid risk in pain treatment.
- State of Addiction: Drug treatment relieves symptoms of withdrawal from opioids.
- Washington Post: Our Dangerous Fear of Pain.
- Safer Opioids: A Well Kept Secret for Chronic Pain.
- Using Buprenorphine for Chronic Pain Management.
- Understanding Buprenorphine for Use in Chronic Pain: Expert Opinion
Our Opioid Stewarship Specialists
Advanced Pain Care’s specialists bring extensive clinical and research experience to our team of expert pain care physicians and provides our patients with the highest quality of care.