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Opioids Will Be the Focus of VNA Talk At Urban Abbey

The title of  the VNA and Urban Abbey’s May 31st session of "Let’s Drink Coffee and Learn Things," is "The Impact of Alternative Pain Therapies on the Opioid Crisis." 

One of the featured speakers will be VNA Pharmacist, Dr. Laura Grothe.  She will talk about the history of opioids and provide insight into how the current crisis in opioid addiction and overdose deaths developed.

Grothe says some people may be surprised to learn how long societies have been “trying to address the wrong use of opioids.” She says the first reference we have to opioid use is from 3400 B.C.

“It’s interesting that someone has found an Egyptian scroll that that recommends using opium, which is an opioid, to soothe a crying baby.  They were giving it to babies back then.”

Grothe says she will also share scans of people’s brains that show the changes opioid addiction can make.  And she will talk about how differently people can react to opioids – with some becoming addicted after even a very short course of it. 

“Some people, we don’t know why, can use the opioids just for that acute pain, but for some reason, something triggers within their brain, that they love it, they seek it out, they hunger it.  And you’ve got some people who use it and say, “I don’t like how it makes me feel, I don’t want it. Other people, there is some type of chemical thing that occurs within their brain that turns them into people who seek it out and want more and more of it.”

Other speakers at this May 31st event include VNA Physical Therapist, Dan Miller, and Hospice Clinical Director, Amanda Matthew.  It takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.  Nurses, social workers, chaplains and others can earn 1.5 contact hours for $5.00.

The VNA is the Urban Abby’s Community Partner of the month – receiving 10% of all coffee sales proceeds.

For more information, the website is VNAtoday.org - search "Let's Drink Coffee and Learn Things."