Memphis Doctor Highlights Alternative To Opioids At Nashville Summit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - There are things working in the fight against opioid addiction. Several were detailed Tuesday in a summit of health care providers in suburban Nashville.

One of the panels on day 2 of the opioid summit looked at what it called bright spots.

“We want to keep our opioid naive patients, opioid naïve,” said Dr. Julie Bennett.

Using a catch medical phrase, Emergency doctor Julie Bennett detailed how at Baptist Memorial in Memphis cut opioid use by 56% this year, while at the same time increased patient satisfaction for pain control by 30%.

Substitutes for opioids can be surprising.

“Why, actually, Tylenol. Tylenol and ibuprofen, over the counter they treat pain very effectively and they are not addictive,” said Dr. Julie Bennett.

In between feverishly taking notes, her fellow health care providers at the opioid summit clapped at the Memphis findings.

There was also applause for a doctor at Mid-South Veterans Healthcare Network who told of cutting opioid prescriptions for Tennessee and Kentucky vets by 36% over the last few years. For part of it he credited academic detailing, things like better one-on-one communication between pharmacists and physicians who prescribe, and being open to more alternatives. 

“We are offering complimentary and alternative medicine, physical therapy, a wide array of resources to help veterans manage their pain,” said Dr. Mark Slagle.

Bottom line for many of the health providers at the summit is to maximize the non-opioid treatment for pain.

 


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