New Jersey Opiate Alternative Program Sees Good Results
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey has implemented a program called “Alternatives to Opiates” (ALTO) with great success.
In the ALTO program, doctors use nonopioid alternative treatments for patients, including “nonopioid painkillers, ultrasound-guided nerve blocks, trigger point injections, and nitrous oxide” (Ackerman, 2016). Cancer patients and patients already dependent on opioids are not included in the program, but of the three hundred patients who participated within the first two months, 75 percent did not need opioids to manage their pain (Ackerman, 2016).
According to the chairman of emergency medicine at St. Joseph’s, “We have to get over the acute pain episode. The first twenty-four to forty-eight hours are the worst. If I can get you over that, you’re going to feel a lot better” (Ackerman, 2016).
This program—and others like it around the nation—is an attempt to curb the overprescription of opioids that has led to the opioid epidemic in the US.
Ackerman, M. (2016). Opiate alternative program at New Jersey hospital is a proven success. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/opiate-alternative-program-new-jersey-hospital-proven-success