opioid & chronic pain reduction program presentation boulder community healthBCH OCPRP’s Week of Presenting, Learning and Connecting

The week of Oct. 20 was full for the BCH Opioid & Chronic Pain Response Program (OCPRP) staff. On the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 22, the staff had its first opportunity to present a poster of data collected at the annual meeting of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. The data the OCPRP presented showed a snapshot of the program’s patient demographics and the overall issue of opioid use (please see image below).

The following day, the OCPRP staff attended festivities—opened by Dr. Robert Valuck—which focused on ways Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is being brought to rural communities. Many of the presentations focused on getting buy-in from key stakeholders, such as law enforcement and community members in rural communities. One key takeaway from the day was the passion and drive that those working in rural communities maintain to make small, incremental changes to provide care for those that lack the options more populated parts of the state enjoy.

The OCPRP staff rounded out the week by attending the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) West to expand its depth and breadth of treatment. During this conference, Dr. Valuck spoke to a broader focus and provided the latest State of the Union: Traditional and Medication Assisted Treatments. Many of the discussions centered around the holistic treatment of addiction and recovery, which included:

  • Mindfulness
  • Bodywork intervention such as yoga and acupuncture
  • Understanding a family history of mental health struggles, particularly personality disorders
  • Opioid addiction and its relationship to chronic pain
  • Challenges that accompany caring for pregnant and nursing women on MAT

Overall, the OCPRP staff believes that the field of addiction treatment is heading in the direction of holistic care with an emphasis on ancient Eastern practices such as acupuncture, reiki, massage and yoga.

Both conferences provided the OCPRP staff the opportunity to connect with both local and nationwide providers. However, what was striking, was the reminder that stigma is still one of the biggest barriers faced by those in recovery, those seeking care and those who work in this field. Common misconceptions about addiction disorders continue to pervade our culture that addiction is a character flaw or a moral failing. The truth is that substance abuse can change the way our brains work and, most often, the resulting addiction is a symptom of underlying trauma, pain and/or mental health struggles.

The OCPRP is taking Dr. Valuck’s call to action to fight, study, learn and follow the evidence so that the program can be a vital part of the solution in not only the opioid crisis but supporting those with substance addiction disorders across the spectrum.

Please consider joining the OCPRP at its monthly educational lecture series or visit the OCPRP webpage to learn more.

Next Educational Lecture:

What: Narcan & PrEP – What These Medications Are and How to Access Them
When: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 from 6–7 p.m.
Where: Della Cava Family Medical Pavilion – 4801 Riverbend Rd., Boulder, CO 80301

*Watch out for the official announcement, including how to register, in your email or on the OCPRP webpage*