Research shows that despite national efforts to end the country’s opioid epidemic, patients continue to receive large quantities of opioids for postsurgical pain, placing them at risk for potentially severe downstream consequences including addiction or dependence. In fact, a 2017 report found that nearly 1-in-10 patients prescribed opioids to manage postsurgical pain went on to persistent use of the medications, meaning they were still taking opioids three to six months after their procedure. However, there are safe and effective non-opioid options available that can reduce or eliminate the need for opioids and their associated risks.
A new film entitled GATEWAY presents the story of three families inadvertently impacted by opioid addiction that began with a prescription to manage pain after surgery. The documentary premiered at a private screening at Helen Mills Theater in New York City on October 16, presented by Choices Matter – a national movement designed to educate and empower patients to have proactive discussions with their clinicians about available non-opioid options for managing postsurgical pain. The deeply-moving, 40-minute film is thoughtfully told through the eyes and hearts of everyday American families who were introduced to opioids after surgery and go on to battle with addiction – either personally or as a caregiver to a loved one. The result is a humanizing and eye-opening look into the struggles that can be caused by legal opioid prescriptions when the dangers of these medications are not properly understood.
In addition to the documentary, Choices Matter launched a companion Public Service Announcement (PSA) in partnership with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). CADCA is the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization, representing more than 5,000 community-based coalitions across the United States who work to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities.
To watch the full documentary and PSA, or to find other materials related to this initiative and non-opioid options, please visit https://www.planagainstpain.com/gateway.
VIDEO PROVIDED BY: Choices Matter and CADCA
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