Patient-Centered Care Begins When Providers Collaborate
Of the more than 23 million Americans with substance use disorders, only 10 percent receive treatment, according to research.
Dr. Lipi Roy, an internist who’s board certified in addiction medicine – and who previously served as Chief of Addiction Medicine at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex – says that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, as well as a complex medical and psychosocial phenomenon, which requires access to high quality, evidence-based care.
Dr. Roy notes that throughout her medical school education and clinical residency she learned very little regarding addiction and pain management, and that she owes her expertise in this space to on-the-job training and self-learning: “Doctors just aren’t trained to treat pain in a safe, evidence-based manner.”
After working extensively with the homeless population, Dr. Roy says that her colleagues began to transform the way care was provided in 2013 after learning that the leading cause of death among her homeless patients was drug overdose. Many addiction counselors were hired, a drug overdose death task force was formed, training on addiction medicine (including opioids and alcohol) was offered to the physicians in her practice and paid for, as well as any fees associated with board review courses and exams.
With one goal in mind – to save lives and improve the overall quality of life – Dr. Roy now employs a custom algorithm when it comes to treating her patients: non-pharmacological care first (chiropractic, massage, ice, heat, etc.), then topicals and over-the-counter pain relievers prior to any prescribed opioids to manage chronic pain.
With science always evolving, evidence-based research is key in helping to educate and empower the public to make healthier decisions when it comes to managing pain. Dr. Roy applauds the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress for ensuring that non-pharmacological options such as chiropractic are brought to light for those suffering.
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