Opioids Part 2 by Dr Sheyna Gifford

In part 2, Dr Sheyna Gifford will discuss the how to differentiate opioid overdose from other causes of altered mental status, some special disposition situations (especially with methadone), and how we can quickly screen for opioid abuse and provide patients compassionate care, treatment, and referral.

Opioids in the ED part 2 with Dr. Sheyna Gifford

Opioids Combined Show Notes (PDF)

My standard opioid prescription speech for all patients:

I am prescribing you a strong pain medication called Norco (or Percocet, respectively- aka hydrocodone or oxycodone).  This medication can make you sleepy so don’t drive or drink alcohol when you are taking it because it can be very harmful if you do.  This medication also has Tylenol (acetaminophen) in it so don’t mix it with anything else that has Tylenol in it. Some people are having problems with these medications by becoming addicted to them.  To avoid this, I want you to only take this medication when your pain is so bad that you cannot function.  This may not take away all your pain- it will just take the edge off so you can function.  I want you to take it for as short of an amount of time as possible- if you only need this pain medication for 2 or 3 days and you have leftover pills, I want you to throw out your pills in the trash.  Don’t save them for another time and don’t give them to anyone else.  Please keep them locked up and away from the reach of children, teens, or anyone else who has issues with addiction.

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