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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Stewarding Recovery from the Opioid Crisis Through Health System Initiatives


As the consequences of liberal opioid prescribing have become apparent, efforts to address the role of the health care system in supporting more  balanced opioid use and the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder have increased. Developing a unified and multidisciplinary approach can lead to an integrated care model that emphasizes primary prevention, harm reduction, and transition to life-sustaining treatment while also maintaining attentiveness to effective pain management. A model for this, which follows the nomenclature in proscribing antimicrobial use, is the development of an opioid stewardship program. Such programs allow for the integration of diverse perspectives and new mandates and uses a patient-centered approach with an iterative evaluation process. We describe a group of adoptable efforts that have been utilized successfully at our institutions and may be adapted and optimized to the needs and resources of other hospitals and health care systems.

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