According to a report from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 42,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2016—five times higher than only seven years prior—and current CDC data shows little evidence that those numbers are any lower for 2017.
Clinicians treating substance use disorder patients at the VA have faced a specific dilemma during the COVID-19 pandemic: How to deal with veterans who need to receive monthly injections at clinics and VAMCs as a critical component of their therapy. Making the choices even more difficult is recent research showing that injectables significantly extend time to relapse for those patients.
VA research has found that about half of veterans with diagnosed schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder have attempted suicide. Nearly 70% of veterans with schizophrenia and more than 82% of those with bipolar disorder reported suicidal ideation or behavior. That’s why it is so critically important to maintain their medications during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Long-acting injectable drugs has helped the VA do that.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – How post-operative pain is treated has changed at the VA, as research has demonstrated that opioids and nonopioids work comparatively well when it comes to relieving pain, with nonopioids having less serious adverse effects and much lower chance of addiction.