Opioid abuse is the most prominent public health crisis of our time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the opioid epidemic has taken more than 500,000 lives in the United States since the early 2000s. There were 33,000 deaths caused by opioids in 2015 alone. In 2013, more than 249 million opioid prescriptions were written in the United States by prescribers, causing a public health emergency whose solution is anything but simple.
There are around 9,000 urgent care centers nationally that represent convenient and affordable healthcare. Because of the vast amount of urgent cares in the United States, it gives them the ability to be very important in the response to the opioid epidemic we are experiencing. Urgent care facilities can begin that impact by implementing the policies and practices that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) created as guidelines. The CDC guidelines state that the risks and benefits of opioids should be reviewed clearly through appropriate consent and that the treatment goals should be established. It has been found that many people consider urgent care facilities as their only source of healthcare, which proves that it is sensible to suggest that urgent care centers be a vital key in cracking down opioid abuse.
There are three models of evaluation for treatment to be considered for urgent care. The first is the “identify and refer” model. This should be the minimum standard for what is done in any healthcare facility. Patients with addiction should be identified, immediate counseling and education should be done, and the appropriate referral for treatment is made. The second model is the “identify, induce and refer” model. This model creates the opportunity for urgent care facilities to not only identify an addict, but also to initiate treatment. Third is the “identify, induce and maintain” model, which can be done with the appropriate referral relationship for mental health treatment, counseling and primary care.
The fight against opioid addiction is one that all healthcare providers should take seriously. The United States is experiencing a serious opioid dependence problem and we must work together to combat this issue.
At OneSource Healthcare, we understand how vital it is to be seen by an urgent care physician when you aren’t well. That is why we offer low-cost, affordable urgent care for those occasional urgent care medical needs that simply cannot wait. We offer walk-in services for your convenience or you can contact us to schedule an appointment. Give us a call at 1(229) 439-1950 in Albany or call 1(229) 246-6417 in Bainbridge for quality healthcare services. Visit us online at www.onesource-healthcare.com.