Hike in opioid use a concern

To the editor:

Nurses care for patients. Whether treating someone infected with COVID-19 or providing routine post-operative care, our priority is what’s best for the patient. That’s why I’m concerned right now with an apparent surge in opioid overdoses being reported in communities like Sierra Vista and across the country.That’s no surprise – social isolation and anxiety over job security or personal finances can increase the odds that an individual struggling with addiction may relapse. Meanwhile, many treatment facilities and support groups were closed to in-person visits while the state remained under a stay-at-home order. At a time like this, it’s important that Arizona leaders continue taking action to combat opioid addiction and provide patients and physicians with safe, effective treatment alternatives. The NOPAIN Act is bipartisan federal legislation that will help ensure Medicare covers FDA-approved non-opioid pain therapies. Patients and health providers deserve a full menu of safe, effective choices when it comes to pain treatment – including non-opioid alternatives. Passing the NOPAIN Act will be a big step forward.On behalf of Arizona nurses, I thank Sen. Sinema for co-sponsoring the NOPAIN Act and ask Sen. McSally to join her colleagues of both parties in supporting this important legislation.

Robin Schaeffer, executive director, Arizona Nurses Association

Tempe

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