How Can I Help?
Know who is at risk of opiate addiction.
- Youth. The developing brain is more vulnerable to mind-altering substances.
- Rural & low-income patients.
- Patients with history of mental illness. Also check for concurrent use of sedatives or anti-depressants.
- Non-hispanic whites, native Americans, and Alaskan natives.
- Patients with a history of substance misuse. Check for positive urine tests. Check the CSRS for multiple prescribers & pharmacies.
Mitigate the risks of prescribing opiates
- Follow STOP Act provisions, board policy, and medical guidelines.
- Use the Controlled Substance Registry System (CSRS).
- Drug screen chronic opiate patients. Provide or connect them with evidence-based treatment.
- Prescribe less.
- Explore safer treatment options first, then establish measurable endpoints for short & long term use.
- Co-prescribe naloxone.
Educate your patients. Discuss these topics openly.
- Toxicity & risks. Opioids have a potential for addiction & overdose.
- Prescribed usage. Use amount prescribed or less. Use only as needed. Do not share.
- Safe storage & disposal. Lock your medications. Throw away at disposal site.
- Substance abuse treatment options. Know where your patients can get help.