Christiana Care reports progress in cutting use of opioids

Summary and Analysis

Christina Care, Delaware's largest health care provider, took a strong action of dramatically cutting back the amount of opioids that were prescribed. This was done as a plan to lower the chronic use of opioids, cut-back the number of opioid addicts and thus reduce overdose deaths.

It has now been widely acknowledged that years of over-prescribing opioids by the medical profession had a hand in creating the current crisis. The pendulum has now swung the other way and the amount of opioid prescriptions are being slashed by almost as much as 50% among discharged emergency department patients and dramatically reduced in other departments.

Although this is a needed change in the way treatment had been done in the past, it would not be wise to replace opioids with the latest, fashionable medications that at first appear tantalizing. The effort to slash the opioid over-prescribing in Delaware's hospitals are bringing a new dawn of hope at Christiana Care and for the many people that are being treated there.

Excerpted from DelawareBusinessNow!

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Christiana Care, Delaware’s largest health care provider hassharply cut the dispensing of opioids.

The system announced this week it has reduced the use of opioids systemwide, including in post-surgical prescribing, its emergency departments and in primary care. Resultsinclude:

  • A 40 percent reduction in the number of opioids prescribed after some ob-gyn and general surgery procedures.
  • A reduction by almost 50 percent in the rate of opioid prescriptions among discharged emergency department patients.
  • A 37 percent reduction in primary care patients on chronic opioid therapy for pain in a pilot project.

In 2012, Delaware was the nation’s No. 1 prescriber of high-dose opioid pain relievers and 17th in opioid prescriptions overall. By 2016, Delaware saw on average a death a day from an opioid overdose.