Healthpointe, a premiere multidisciplinary healthcare organization in Southern California, is taking a major lead in fighting the opioid epidemic. Healthpointe has developed two chronic pain programs to help patients suffering from chronic pain decrease their reliance on opioid medications.
Opioid medications have long been used to treat patients suffering from chronic pain. Unfortunately, for chronic pain patients, opioid medications are taken for longer periods of time and at higher doses to help decrease their pain. This can lead to addiction and an increased risk of overdose and death. For chronic pain patients, traditional drug rehabilitation programs are not the right fit due to a lack of focus on the patient’s chronic pain. As a result, Healthpointe has realized the need for chronic pain programs that will address opioid use in patients with chronic pain.
Healthpointe has developed the Weaning Program and the Functional Restoration Program to help patients reduce their opioid medication use. The Weaning Program helps patients work with their medical doctor as their doctor tapers the patient down and off of opioid medication. In the Weaning Program, Healthpointe doctors set up an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Through the of use adjuvant medications, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and psychological therapy, the patient is steadily weaned off of opioid medication. “Our responsibility is to use new non-narcotic interventions as much as possible to reduce and hopefully eliminate narcotics that patients require to function on a daily basis, with the overall goal of improving their quality of life,” said Roman Shulze MD, medical director of Healthpointe.
For more complex cases, Healthpointe has the Functional Restoration Program. “Many patients suffering from chronic pain are also suffering from depression, anxiety, and problems with family and work. In these cases, decreasing the patient’s medication can be a difficult task that takes a more in depth, integrated approach,” said Levon Margolin Ph.D., clinical director of the Functional Restoration Program. The Functional Restoration Program is an interdisciplinary chronic pain program that takes a bio-psycho-social approach to treating patients with chronic pain. In this program, medical doctors, psychologists, and physiotherapists work together to help patients achieve their treatment goals. These goals include decreasing opioid medication, decreasing emotional suffering, increasing physical activity, and improving activities of daily living.