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DCoE Summit Features Opioid Use Panel Discussion

Approaches to opioid use disorder: getting evidence-based practices to the field in federal health care and prevention
Graphic by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Heath & Traumatic Brain Injury

The annual Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Summit convened Sept. 19-21. Among several presentations on the topics of psychological health and traumatic brain injury, was a panel discussion on the topic of opioid use disorder.

The panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Richard Stoltz, DCoE acting director and clinical psychologist, allowed medical experts to talk about their efforts to address opioid use disorder. Panelists represented agencies such as the Defense Health Agency, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Dr. Melissa Christopher, a panelist and national director of VA Academic Detailing Services, provided an informative Q&A session to members of the DCoE knowledge translation team. During their discussion, Christopher talked about her work at the VA and shared thoughts on opioids and pain management.

“As a community of health care providers and as a community receiving treatment, we need to open our eyes to a paradigm shift in pain management so that we can more effectively fight this endemic,” said Christopher. “I don’t want to overstate – because there is still a place for opioids in pain management. But as we start embracing different ways of treating pain, we need to recognize the existing risks that are there.”

Opioid misuse is a national health crisis and military health experts believe addressing this crisis requires a multi-faceted knowledge translation effort.  

“Advances in opioid use disorder and practice hold tremendous power to enable health care and prevention practitioners to deliver targeted, evidence-based interventions,” said Stoltz. “As a result, effective knowledge translation will help reverse the tide of the opioid crisis now, and serves as a model for addressing challenges in the future.”

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This page was last updated on: September 22, 2017.