Patients may be identified at any time during the course of treatment and generally fall within three areas of concern:
- Overt signs of addiction such as admitted use of heroin, alcoholism, or signs of illicit drugs on definitive toxicology screening. These patients can be referred immediately for full assessment and determination of appropriate level of care.
- Patients that are identified as high risk for opiate diversion or who may be physically dependent. Referral for assessment may reveal that the patient does not have a substance use disorder and may need withdrawal management or high-risk oversight.
- Patients that are dismissed from the practice for non-compliance who are currently on opioids. These patients may or may not have substance use disorder but will require withdrawal management.
** Identification does not mean the patient should not receive continued appropriate pain management without the use of controlled substances. Often under or untreated pain can be a significant factor of substance use disorder **
Discussion around these issues with patients may be challenging. Keeping the patient’s best interest in mind, the key is to address the concern for opioid dependence or misuse in a proactive approach. Brightview can provide a professional and discreet option for evaluation and treatment if required. The goal is to ensure the patient doesn’t suffer through the misery of opioid withdrawal and to give them options for appropriate care.