Pharmacy tech

The slide from prescription to addiction can be a fast ride and result in unintended and devastating consequences for families and communities. The impact of opioid overdose and abuse spread so broadly and so quickly that the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared a public health emergency and announced a 5-Point Strategy To Combat the Opioid Crisis.

The South Dakota Department of Health joined in the effort with an Opioid Abuse Strategic Plan, which led to the development of the Avoid Opioid Campaign. With every age and socioeconomic group impacted by the crisis, efforts to increase awareness for patients and healthcare professionals in all facility settings are growing steadily.

Cheri FastCheri Fast, RN, WOCN, program manager for Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN), is actively engaging in community awareness efforts. “Continued aggressive action is needed to deal with the opioid crisis. It is important for providers to stay informed and feel comfortable dealing with the needs of those affected.”

As a result of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant funds, Avera is hosting a half-day training called Beyond the Waiver: Addiction and Opioid Use Disorder Training for HealthCare Professionals. Scheduled for April 5, 2019 from 1:00 – 5:00 (pm) at the Sioux Fall Convention Center, the event will address the need for limiting the supply of prescription opioids in circulation, raising awareness of the risk of opioid addiction, identifying and treating opioid-dependent individuals and collaborating closely with community efforts.

“Addressing the opioid epidemic requires all healthcare members to work together as a team. In order to be effective team members, we must all commit to state-of-the-art approaches. Workshops like this are critical to our success in this battle,” shared Jane Mort, Pharm D, dean and professor for the South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.

Fast agreed, “Education can help healthcare professionals and communities understand the risks of opioid use and become empowered to prescribe, use, store and dispose of opioids with safety in mind. Ultimately, education and prevention efforts should aim to reduce the number of people who begin misusing opioids and encourage people who struggle with opioids to seek help.”

Substance use disorders are a chronic medical condition that may lead to complications and should be treated with care and diligence. Treatment and support may take the form of alternative pain management options, Medication Assisted Treatment and/or counseling.

Linda Penisten, program manager for Great Plains QIN“The right tools are essential to any worthy tasks. By attending this workshop, healthcare providers will obtain the essential tools for the tasks of preventing opioid addiction and assisting the patient in the journey to be well,” added Linda Penisten, RNC, OTR/L, program manager at Great Plains QIN.

A full description, registration details and information on continuing education is available on the Beyond the Waiver event page. Additional information and resources on medication safety and care coordination can be found on the Great Plains QIN website.