The American Optometric Association’s Health Policy Institute has released clinical recommendations to pinpoint optometry’s role in mitigating the opioid epidemic.
The brief, titled, Opioid Crisis — A U.S. Public Health Emergency: Recommendations for Doctors, provides doctors with a quick reference to recognize, identify, intervene and refer individuals who are potentially at risk for opioid abuse or excessive use.
“This is an important moment for every doctor in America, and optometry is up to the challenge of doing more to make patients, communities and the country safer and healthier,” Christopher J. Quinn, OD, AOA president, said in the release.
“The acceptance and use of prescriptive opioids has seemingly increased regardless of their known risks, even though opioids have been proven to have decreased effectiveness with long-term use,” according to the brief.
The brief refers to the CDC and its guidelines for overdose prevention.
When used for acute pain, clinicians should make a goal and treatment plan with the patient and prescribe the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioids, according to the brief.
“Doctors of optometry are physicians on the front lines of patient care, delivering the highest-quality eye health and vision care and helping to safeguard overall patient health through the early diagnosis of systemic diseases and life-threatening conditions,” Quinn added.