Medical practitioners risk ethical and legal issues when handling drug addicted patients. Other than the patients’ drug addiction, medics need to address their medical needs. Scanty reports on evidence-based studies do not support opioid’s long term efficacy on involvement in treating chronic pain among patients with drug addiction problems. As medics consider patients’ drug-seeking ability after treatment, opioids application for pain management among such patients presents severe challenges as the study reveals.
Native teenagers in the United States aged 18 to 30 years often misuse opioids, which requires medical practitioners to administer extreme caution when putting them under chronic opioid therapy. According to Quinlan, and Cox, (2017), the United Nations reported 29 million people to suffer drug use disorders. Despite being the least used compared to amphetamine and cocaine, they result in 82% overdose-related fatalities. Teenagers tampering with prescriptive opioids improvise them for smoking, intravenous use, inhalation forcing the manufacturers to invest a lot in abuse-deterrent drugs.
The stigma, misinformation, and prejudice linked to drug abuse and addition make it relatively impossible for medical practitioners to offer efficient medical care to such patients. Medics dealing with drug dependent patients require adept knowledge on diagnosing drug dependence and identifying the withdrawal from such medications. The practitioners need adequate communication and collaboration skills to engage in patients. While creating an excellent patient-medic rapport facilitates good communication between the doctor and the patient, the physicians need to remain empathic and nonjudgmental. A good rapport builds enduring trust and understanding throughout the treatment process. In the long term, the patient opens about their drug addiction, anxieties, and expectations from the treatment.
Before or during admission, medical practitioners ought to align the patient’s medications to the drug physician. Community support could make follow-ups and facilitate analgesia reduction as the patient recovers. Psychiatric comorbidities mostly happen among drug-dependent patients, with half of the patients showing signs of anxiety, psychopathology, and depression. The comorbidities might interfere with the patient’s ability to interact with staff at a medical facility. The study proposes screening the patients to identify the exact drugs from urine samples, thus come up with an effective treatment alternative.
Patients express various concerns upon admission at a hospital facility. The first fear being the withdrawal fear. The teenagers are likely to wait longer at the emergency departments or after hospitalization before they get drugs. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings are most likely to occur if the pharmacy delays or the patient receives no immediate access to medication, Quinlan, and Cox, (2017). Restricted access might cause pain to the patient if their analgesia is not immediately resolved. The teenagers often feel discriminated against because of their past drug abuse history.
Clinicians treating the patients also express specific fears regarding the patient’s treatment. The clinicians fear mistrust emerging from the patients. Cooney and Broglio, (2017) stated that medics fear over-treating pain which might cause ventilatory impairment as of the excessive opioid. Other teens might fabricate their pains in a mid to get free euphoric opioids. Medical practitioners fear that some patients might leave elope from their facilities without accomplishing vital medication.
Medical practitioners must assess a patient’s previous drug use for instance if they were on opioid substitution therapies. Additional medications that are not over-the-counter drugs like Neurontin must be evaluated. The patient’s drug administration routes are essential from injection, sublingual or oral use. The hospital needs to assess the patient’s social factors like violence, interpersonal and abuse history. The medics need to check if the patient would get support from the family and society after hospital discharge.
The primary goals in pain treatment among opioid users aim at preventing withdrawal, attaining analgesia and reducing relapse and preventing the addiction disorder from getting worse. Cooney and Broglio, (2017) argued that the first step in treating such patients require creating a nonjudgmental and supportive environment. The medical practitioners must know if the drugs in question are misused or not. The medics then proceed to develop an analgesic plan like increasing the opioid dosage relative to opioid-naïve patients while checking from time to time for any side effects. The treatment must transform to oral opioid formulations whenever possible.
Following the opioid administration, the report suggests the withdrawal plan preparation. Cheatle et al., (2014) argued that the medics might continue the opioid substitution therapy or put up proper opioid treatment. The physicians must check the withdrawal syndromes associated with other drugs. The doctors must reduce stress in the patient as possible while ensuring a multidisciplinary discharge plan.
In summary, the report identified that several African Americans suffer opioid addiction. Treating such patients requires a well-coordinated intervention to ensure that the patient gets the appropriate treatment without incurring withdrawal symptoms or worsening their addiction. Challenges and obstacles likely faced during the treatment process include some patients fleeing from the hospital before major treatment administration. Teenagers in the age range of 18 to 30 are the most prevalent across the world not just the United States with opioids. With proper interventions and follow-ups, it becomes possible to remedy their medical issues and recovery.
Cheatle, M., Comer, D., Wunsch, M., Skoufalos, A., & Reddy, Y. (2014). Treating Pain in Addicted Patients: Recommendations from an Expert Panel. Population Health Management, 17(2), 79-89. doi: 10.1089/pop.2013.0041
Cooney, M., &Broglio, K. (2017). Acute Pain Management in Opioid-tolerant Individuals. The Journal For Nurse Practitioners, 13(6), 394-399. doi: 10.1016/j.nurpra.2017.04.016
Quinlan, J., & Cox, F. (2017). Acute pain management in patients with drug dependence syndrome. PAIN Reports, 2(4), e611. doi: 10.1097/pr9.0000000000000611