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Opioid Abuse Prevention

Providers: What Can You Do?

  • RX2-PossibleFollow recommended prescribing guidelines from the CDC and the California Medical Board when writing opioid prescriptions.
  • Recommend the use of non-pharmacologic therapies (such as exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy) and non-opioid pharmacologic therapies (such as anti-inflammatories) for patients with chronic pain.
  • Do not prescribe opioids routinely for chronic pain.
  • Check the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) to ensure prescription regimen is appropriate for the patient and to avoid concurrent prescribing.
  • Make sure patients understand the risks of opioid medications.
  • Screen patients for mental health, drug abuse, and addiction problems.
  • "Start low and go slow" when prescribing opioids.
  • Regularly monitor patients to make sure opioids are improving pain and function, without causing harm.
  • Prescribe an opioid antagonist (Narcan/naloxone) for patients taking long-term or high-dose opioids, which can be administered in the event of an overdose.
  • Learn how to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for patients with addiction or make a referral for opioid use disorder to a treatment specialist or treatment program. Do not "fire" a patient who needs your assistance recovering from addiction.

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