Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) July 21, 2021- A program designed by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to combat opioid addiction among veterans first launched in 2018 has received national recognition. The VA’s Rapid Naloxone Initiative was named the 2020 recipient of the John M. Eisenberg National Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality Award by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum.
The Rapid Naloxone Initiative distributes emergency anti-overdose drug Naloxone to veterans at risk for opioid overdose and provides training on using it. It also puts Naloxone and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) cabinets in high-risk areas for VA police to quickly access when necessary.
“Opioid addiction is a widespread and dangerous problem for veterans,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at VA disability law firm Legal Help for Veterans in Northville, Michigan. “Many of the men and women who struggle with addiction now begin using opioids to manage acute and chronic pain or other conditions from their time in the military. This leaves them at high risk for overdose and death.”
Opioid use has risen dramatically among veterans, with rates doubling in the last 20 years. The VA health care system alone manages the care of more than 64,000 veterans with opioid use disorders.
Opioid drugs include prescription drugs, like hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, codeine, tramadol, oxymorphone and hydromorphone, and illicit drugs like heroin. Many veterans begin using these drugs legitimately when they are prescribed them by a doctor. However, some turn to street drugs to manage pain and other symptoms when prescription medications are no longer enough or too difficult to obtain.
The Rapid Naloxone Initiative is not the first VA program to fight veteran opioid addiction. Some VA healthcare locations offer Syringe Services Programs, which provide sterile syringes, supplies, treatment and more to veterans who inject opioid drugs. Although not available everywhere, Syringe Services Programs are crucial to preventing overdoses, HIV infections and other secondary problems that affect intravenous drug users.
Legal Help for Veterans is committed to helping veterans get the healthcare and benefits they deserve. For more information on the firm and its services, visit www.legalhelpforveterans.com.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
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Northville, MI 48168
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