Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Occupational Therapy Can Help Opioid Addiction

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Occupational Therapy Can Help Opioid Addiction

Article excerpt

I am writing in response to the Jan. 20 Forum article about federal regulation and the opioid epidemic, "The Feds will Have a Hard Time Regulating Prescription Opioids." As a student in an occupational therapy program, I began thinking about how our services can help when it comes to opioid addiction, intervention and treatment.

While occupational therapists may not have a powerful influence in the Food and Drug Administration sphere of pharmaceutical approval, we can provide "a forceful tool" to help educate, change and rehabilitate consumer behaviors and assist with both patient and physician education.

The FDA recognizes the importance of prescription labels and have throughout history, but they are a legal entity and that is the issue. They do not work with the patients as closely as health care professionals do. As an aspiring occupational therapist, we are here to provide the education that the label itself often cannot. Many people are ignorant to the effects of the medications they are putting into their bodies. Prescription "labels don't necessarily change behavior," but occupational therapy does.

Occupational therapy will not eliminate the opioid epidemic, but it will make a significant impact on treatment and recovery programs through the use of its distinct value of improving health and quality of life through facilitating participation and engagement in alternatives from opioids. …

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