In a recent interview on Medscape.com, an online news resource for healthcare professionals, Dr. Roger Chou, Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, shared his perspective on the opioid abuse currently experienced in the US (2). Used for pain management, these medications can lead to overdose, addiction, and death when misused. Dr. Chou shares that meeting the patient’s psychosocial needs should be primary, and opioids used as adjunctive treatment.
The term “psychosocial” has been used in many different contexts. In the realm of health and wellness, we are finding more and more evidence for a psychosocial component to an individual’s ability to recover from and/or cope with an illness. In essence, this means that there are social factors (i.e., human relationships) that have an affect on our emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
This is not a new concept to recovery programs, where a social support system has proved key in helping each other stay free from our addictions. And as we do so, let us remember to “consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities” (Hebrews 10:24, AMPC). Giving support is about more than just helping one another stay away from harmful habits – it must also include encouraging healthy behaviors instead.
(2) The Evolving Role of Opioids in Managing Chronic Pain – Medscape – May 01, 2017
Angeline B. David, DrPH, MHS, RDN
Health Ministries / ARMin Director
North American Division