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Patient education, 90-day monitoring period key to preventing opioid dependence: Report


A white paper released Monday by managed care organization CompPartners Inc. says opioid management programs must include patient education and engagement in order to help them avoid becoming addicted to or dependent on narcotics.

"If a patient understands early on how tolerance and dependence can develop relatively quickly, and that long term opioid use is of general negative health consequences, the patient may exercise an educated decision to not take opioids to start," reads the report authored by CompPartners Medical Director Dr. Joyce Ho. "A pamphlet, while not as interactive as a patient educator, may also be used to repeat the key points."

The report also cites studies showing that opioid dependence and tolerance tend to develop within 90 days of use, and advises medical providers to intervene with patients who are already at risk of dependency before they reach the 90 day mark.

A full copy of the CompPartners white paper is available on the company's website.