HomeLatest NewsMember NewsLessons Learned from the 7th Annual Conference on Ethics and Opioids

Lessons Learned from the 7th Annual Conference on Ethics and Opioids

Loretta Bryan, one of SDAHO’s Quality Improvement Consultants, attended the 7th Annual Conference on Ethics and Opioids in Mobile, Alabama. The conference focused on the moral responsibility of caring for victims of the opioid crisis and explored ethical behavior in therapeutic relationships through case scenarios.

Each speaker shared their personal experience working with patients who struggle with opioid use disorders. One speaker presented an interesting statistic that the recurrence rates for substance use disorders are identical to the recurrence rates for diabetes. It is crucial that we pay attention to the issues occurring in our state.

Many healthcare workers feel uneasy when communicating with individuals who have a substance use disorder, often due to the fear of saying something inappropriate. As a solution, the group came up with one-sentence phrases, such as “I am glad you are here; can you help me understand how I can help you in your journey?” to make the conversation more comfortable. It is important to note that most of the discomfort arises from the healthcare workers, not the patients.
Loretta Bryan

Addiction is a complex issue that can be caused by various factors including social isolation, financial difficulties, underlying mental health problems, lack of healthcare access, cultural differences, and poor diet. Opioids are increasingly becoming more accessible in our society, not necessarily because doctors are prescribing them, but because of illicit drug use.

Those who struggle with substance use disorders are often deeply wounded individuals who seek to numb their pain. Trauma, which can be defined as a concentrated lack of love, is best treated with love. If you want to support someone with substance use disorder, you can encourage them to seek help from a treatment center, try medicated assisted treatment, or receive trauma-informed therapy.

SDAHO’s quality team works closely with the South Dakota Department of Health to help educate hospitals and clinics across our state. We can provide education on stigma, resources, medicated assisted treatment, motivational interviewing, and so much more. This project is grant funded and is FREE to our facilities. Please contact us: Loretta Bryan, BSN, RN, CPHQ at loretta.bryan@sdaho.org or Michelle Hofer, BSN, RN, CPHQ at michelle.hofer@sdaho.org.

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