Publication date: Apr 12, 2019
Harm reduction, a feasible approach to managing opioid misuse/diversion in oncology patients, was discussed in a presentation at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 44th Annual Congress, held in Anaheim, California.
In the context presented by Dr McNally, harm reduction is not an attempt at abstinence, nor is it an active treatment for addiction, which is beyond the scope of care provided by oncology advance practice providers APPs – in this context, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Prescribing practices to consider include use of prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), have patients sign a controlled medicine management contract and complete a pain diary, limit prescription quantity, decrease the pill load (sustained vs immediate release), pill counts, and urine toxicology screens.
With education specific to addiction and harm reduction strategies, APPs are well-positioned to implement these tactics and make a positive impact on patient outcomes.
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