EARLY REFERRAL and OPIOD ADDICTION

‘When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last year signed into law a comprehensive bill targeting opioid addiction, many touted it as one of the toughest in the nation, often pointing to the seven-day cap on opioid prescriptions and new prescription monitoring requirements as reasons why.

But a lesser known aspect of the law is one that fosters a new relationship between primary care providers and licensed alcohol and drug counselors, or LADCs.

In essence, the law encourages primary care providers to keep an eye out for signs their patients may be becoming dependent on opioids.

An example, according to Connecticut Association for Addiction Professionals President Susan Campion, is a patient who, not long after coming in with one injury, quickly returns with another.

If the provider suspects an addiction is developing, he or she can refer the patient to an LADC, who will follow steps outlined in Section 6 of the law by gleaning information about the person’s family and personal history of addiction and determining how likely he or she is to abuse drugs prescribed for pain.’

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