Arizona Health Care Professionals Discuss Opioid Alternatives At Symposium In Tempe

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 1:36pm
Updated: Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 2:03pm
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(Photo by Bridget Dowd - KJZZ)
Primary care physicians, dentists and surgeons alike gathered at a symposium in Tempe Saturday to discuss alternatives to prescribing opioids. Doctor Elisa Segal was one of the event speakers.

It’s hard to get people to change their habits. That was the underlying message of this weekend’s conference “Changing the Conversation: A Prescriber’s Symposium.”

Primary care physicians, dentists and surgeons gathered in Tempe Saturday morning to discuss alternatives to opioid prescriptions.

Doctor Elisa Segal was one of the event speakers. She said evidence shows that opioids are not as good as non-opioids for the treatment of either acute or chronic pain.

"Yet that message isn’t getting out to the public,” Segal said. “So the purpose of this was to get prescribers in the room to hear what message we would like the public to hear and hopefully they would help us to be the messenger of that.”

Segal said people put a lot of expectation on a pill.

"If you strain your knee or injure yourself, physical therapy, ice- there’s lots of other things that we have to do, but it’s easy to take a pill so we want the answer to be something simple,” Segal said. “We want it to just be something we can take and it’s all gone and we don’t have to do anything. We don’t have to participate. But you do, especially with chronic pain; you have to participate in your recovery.”

She said people have been trained to expect an opioid and it’s going to be a long road to retrain the thinking of both patients and doctors.

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