By many accounts, 2020 was the worst year yet of the opioid epidemic. The need for an opioid stewardship program is more important than ever, and pharmacy teams can take a leadership role.
The relentless focus on COVID-19 has relegated the opioid epidemic to a much lower priority public health problem than the numbers and societal effects merit. While the opioid epidemic is a broad societal problem, hospitals and health systems must be at the center of the response.
That response should include implementation and expansion of opioid stewardship programs (OSPs), often with pharmacists leading the charge because of their consistent presence at the hub of hospital and health system opioid use.
This guide reviews:
- How we’ve got to where we are with the opioid epidemic and the impacts that COVID-19 has had on it
- Key guiding principles for opioid stewardship programs
- The value of a data-driven opioid stewardship program and key metrics to measure to reduce opioid use and manage risk