This image illustrates weighing alternatives in the Opioid Epidemic

Frequent readers of my blog may recall my multiple articles on different aspects of the epidemic as it relates to the workers’ compensation industry, and how CompAlliance has structured their Opioid Protocols as a result.

On June 6, 2018, in my article, Opioid Limits on Prescribing – Has the Pendulum Swung Too Far? I shared my suggestions for the out-patient setting when setting up a state’s opioid protocols.

Yesterday I received an email from a delightful young lady who found my contact information via a google search. She was extremely well-written and explained she is performing a research project,

“…on this epidemic for a PowerPoint research project that is a component of my Cambridge AICE Global Perspectives end-of-year exam (it has 3 components: an essay on a separate topic, a PowerPoint research project, and a written test).

Passing this exam is a requirement for me in order to receive my AICE Diploma from the Cambridge program, which is a rigorous, international educational system created by the University of Cambridge in England. A grader from the university will be reviewing and evaluating my project, along with others around the world that are enrolled in this class. For this component, we can choose a global topic of concern and we must investigate the topic through different perspectives (economic, scientific, technological, social, environmental, political, etc.), in order to decide what could be the potential solutions to the problem.

I am researching this topic alongside two other partners; however, our research is separate from one another’s since we are each investigating the issue through different lenses (the individual lenses we are covering: economic, scientific, social) to see which one provides the best solution. I am researching the economic perspective on the opioid epidemic, which is why I am evaluating if increasing the price of opioids could be an effective measure in alleviating this issue, and what cheaper, safer, and alternative medications there are that can be utilized to treat illnesses that are typically treated by opioids, with equivalent effectiveness or with an effectiveness similar to that of opioids.”

She also shared some thoughts from her research on a global level, and I have decided to research some of these ideas and share them with all of you in some upcoming articles. What I have been reading is very eye opening and may make us a bit uncomfortable as we look at these solutions.

I am also hoping if any of you have ideas or research you would like me to share re: the topics listed above, please send to me and I will be happy to share. She did offer to send to me a copy of her power point when she is finished. I look forward to receiving it in January and hopefully sharing some or all her findings, depending on her authorization.