Today’s guest, Dr. Anu Patel of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC discussed opioid epidemic and how it affect the individual and the family.
Listen as Dr. Patel talks with Melissa about why this topic is important for families, why people take them, the potential dangers, warning signs and more….
Anuradha Rao-Patel, MD
Lead Medical Director, Government Programs
Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
Anuradha Rao-Patel, MD, is a Medical Director at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). She is responsible for the evaluation of the medical necessity, appropriateness, and efficiency of the use of health care services, procedures, prescription drugs, and facilities under the provisions of the applicable health benefits plan. Before joining Blue Cross NC, she worked in a private practice doing acute and chronic pain management.
Blue Cross NC Opioid website: https://www.bluecrossnc.com/opioid-epidemic
More Powerful NC website: https://www.morepowerfulnc.org/
National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: https://drugfree.org/
A note from Dr. Anu Patel for you…..
Talk with your provider! Have open and honest conversations!
And one of the most important tools that that parents can provide their children is education about substance use. While talking about drugs with young people isn’t always comfortable, research has shown that it’s critical for prevention.
Chances are good that even young teenagers will have heard about opioids and overdose deaths at some point. Pretending that opioid use is not a problem – or thinking that a child is not at risk and therefore doesn’t need to hear and talk about it – is a mistake. Parents should also educate themselves and shouldn’t convey misinformation about opioids to their children….sometimes the conversation can be sad or even scary…but we should be honest and straightforward. If their children find out that what they’ve been told isn’t accurate, they may turn instead to their peers for information. Parents should also try when possible to get to know their children’s friends. Having friends who use drugs is very strongly associated with adolescents’ own drug use.
And finally….addiction is a disease. It’s important that we use language that frames it as a health issue and shows respect to people suffering from addiction and to their families who are impacted—just as we would with any other disease, like diabetes or asthma.
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