Ohio Opens New Front in the Fight Against Opiate Abuse
Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Established To Prevent Abuse, Save Lives
As part of an ongoing effort to curb the misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications and unintentional overdoses, today Gov. John R. Kasich announced the adoption of new opioid prescribing guidelines for treating patients with chronic, non-terminal pain. Developed by the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team (GCOAT), and in conjunction with more than 40 professional groups, state licensing boards and state agencies, the opioid prescribing guidelines encourage Ohio’s clinicians to fully evaluate a patient’s situation before prescribing high levels of opioids for long-term use. Research shows that patients who receive higher doses of prescribed pain medications are at increased risk for overdose and need close supervision and periodic reevaluation. The new guidelines recommend that 80 milligrams Morphine Equivalent Daily Dose (MED) should trigger the prescriber to “press pause” and reevaluate the effectiveness and safety of the patient’s pain management plan. The guidelines are intended to supplement, and not replace, the prescriber’s clinical judgment. The guidelines also strongly advise prescribers to talk with their patients about managing their chronic pain, the risks of an unintentional overdose from their prescription pain medication, the potential for pain medication abuse, and secure storage of their pain medications to prevent misuse by others. A new a prescriber-focused website – opioidprescribing.ohio.gov – will help prescribers learn more about the guidelines. The site also includes resources prescribers can use to incorporate the guidelines into their daily practice; a continuing education video education module, a toolkit and patient resources.
Read the press release. Click here to read a fact sheet on the new Rx prescribing guidelines.
Read coverage of the issue in the Portsmouth Daily Times.