Asking About Opioids: A Treatment Plan Can Make All The Difference


Source: NPR

Dr. Terry Horton, chief of addiction medicine and medical director of Project Engage at Christiana Care Health System, testified about opioid addiction before a U.S. Senate committee in May. Courtesy of Christiana Care Health System

For years, doctors have asked people about tobacco use and excessive drinking in the hopes that the answers could help lead people to cut down or quit.

But screening alone isn’t usually sufficient to change behavior.

As opioid use hits record highs in the U.S., Christiana Care Health System in Delaware is starting to ask people about opioid use — and then go further.

In November 2016, Christiana Care staff started asking patients during routine visits and in the emergency room questions like these:

“Have you used heroin or prescription pain medications


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