Regional Health selected for study using opioids for patient pain maintenance

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - To combat short-term pain from injuries, Regional Health has been selected to participate in a two-year study using prescribed opioids.

Regional Health has been selected for a two-year study on prescribed opioids for patient pain.

Rapid City's rural community has a diverse population allowing researchers and physicians to better understand a wide range of patient needs.

Funded by the FDA, this study on patient experiences with pain aims to understand what happens when people get their first opioid prescription for acute pain and what leads to their next prescription.

The director of research said the opioid crisis affects us and everyone else across the nation, but before it can be addressed, we need to understand what drives the crisis.

"In past studies, that's what was missing. We have good information from certain populations, but we're missing Native American; we're missing, what are the special challenges when we're treating acute pain in rural populations and do we treat it differently than urban populations? So, important questions that we need to understand and then we can start taking steps to address the crisis," said Regional Health Director of Research Roger Deraad.

Acute pain typically lasts less than six months. The FDA awarded a $3.5 million grant to fund this research project.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is another rural community participating in the study.

The protocol for the study is currently being written. More details will be released in the near future.