DENVER (KDVR) — In an effort to help curb the ever expanding opiate crisis in our state and country, doctors now have a new set of guidelines to follow when it comes to how they should go about prescribing opioids to children.
The guidelines were just published by the American Pediatric Surgical Association.
The recommendations include: making sure health care professionals who work with children recognize the risk of misuse and abuse in younger age groups, finding more ways to educate families on best expectations and methods for maneuvering pain management before and after their child’s surgery and to use alternative non-opioid medications when possible.
“I think it’s a really positive move for medicine,” said Sarah Zubrin, the Chief Clinical Officer at Mile High Continuing Care in Denver. “The less exposure we have to highly addictive substances, the less likely we are to have substance abuse problems later.”
According to Zubrin, children as young as eight years old have showed up at her facility for help with opioid addiction.
“If you abuse substances before the age of 14, you are 500 times more likely to be a substance abuser as an adult,” she said.
Medical professionals are hoping these new guidelines won’t scare parents away from managing their child’s pain with opioids when it’s properly suggested and prescribed to them by a doctor.
You can read the specifics for the guidelines by clicking here.