Leaders at Birmingham (Ala.) VA Medical Center have helped nearly 50 percent of participants in its “Whole Health Approach to Opioid Safety” program to reduce their opioid intake by 10 percent or more. Five of the 87 veterans participating in the program’s weekly, 90-minute shared medical appointments have given up their opioids completely, the hospital said, and 20 patients have reduced their dosages by 20 to 50 percent. During the nine-week program, an interdisciplinary team of clinicians takes a holistic approach to participants’ health, which includes opioid safety education among other activities. Through this training, and in working toward other health goals, patients often realize that medication is not always necessary to control their pain, hospital leaders said.
More information about the program is available here.