Opioid Addiction Is a Public Health Crisis
For years, doctors have relied upon opioid pain drugs to provide pain relief to their patients. However, while opioid pain drugs have helped many people, they come with a heavy risk of addiction.
- Opioid misuse and addiction is widespread in the United States.
- More than 4 million people take opioid drugs not prescribed by their doctors.
- Almost 1/3 of people with chronic pain become addicted to an opioid drug.
Talk To Your Doctor Before Taking an Opioid
It’s always important to discuss your treatment options with your doctor, especially when it comes to the management of pain with opioids. Here are some questions you should consider asking:
- Is an opioid the right kind of medicine for me?
- How long will I have to take this medication?
- Does the medication have any side effects?
- Should I start with a lower dose or fewer pills?
- Is it okay to take an opioid with the other prescription drugs I am taking?
- If I have any medication leftover, how can I get rid of it safely?
- Should I still take an opioid if I have a history of substance abuse?
- Is it okay to take this medicine if I have a family history of addiction?
Ask Your Doctor for Alternatives to Opioid Medications
MVP and our medical management team are working with medical professionals to help fight opioid addiction and support those who suffer from opioid misuse. That’s why we cover a wide variety of prescription drugs that are alternatives to opioids. Ask your doctor for details.
Helping Someone Who is Misusing Opioids
Professionals say opioid misuse should be treated like a chronic illness. It’s important to manage expectations and understand that asking someone to stop often does not work and can lead to frustration for both parties. Here are some suggestions that have been shown to be successful:
- Educate yourself on their illness. With better understanding, you can help reduce the stigma of substance misuse
- Join them in exploring their treatment options
- Give support without judgement
- Let them know they are not alone
- Find caregiver support (e.g. support group) for your own well-being, and know you are not alone either
Treatments for Opioid Addiction
Recovery through treatment has been shown to be very successful. There are many treatment options, including new medication-assisted treatments (MATs) such as:
- Buprenorphine (Butrans®, Subutex®, Belbuca®)
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol®, Revia®, Depade®)
If you’re helping someone who is an MVP Member, many opioid treatments are covered. Call us at 1-888-687-6277 (TTY: 711).
Helpful Resources About Opioids