State Policies Reduce Opioid Overdoses
Certain state policies to reduce inappropriate opioid prescribing significantly reduced amounts prescribed and prescription opioid overdose death rates during 2006–2013, according to a study released today in Health Affairs. There was no evidence that heroin overdose death rates increased as a result of these policies.
The analysis included 38 states and revealed that combined implementation of mandated provider review of state-run prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data and pain clinic laws reduced amounts of opioids prescribed by 8 percent and prescription opioid overdose death rates by 12 percent. Additionally, there is no evidence to support the claim that policies to curb opioid prescribing are leading to heroin overdoses. In fact, these policies may actually reduce the number of people initiating heroin use in the longer term by reducing the number of people exposed to opioids both for use as prescribed and for nonmedical use.
CDC is working with states and prescribers to prevent opioid misuse and overdose by tracking and monitoring the epidemic and helping states scale up effective programs. CDC developed the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to help primary care doctors provide safer, more effective care for patients with chronic pain. CDC aims to save lives and prevent prescription opioid overdoses by equipping providers with the knowledge, tools, and guidance they need to make informed treatment decisions.
Also In the News: Severe Joint Pain
Almost 15 million US adults with arthritis have severe joint pain that can limit their ability to perform basic functions and seriously compromise their quality of life, says a new study published in today’sMMWR. Those disproportionately affected include women, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and those with a disability, less than a high school education, fair/poor health, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or serious psychological distress and those who are unable to work. Healthcare professionals can take steps to reduce barriers to pain care and increase patient knowledge of treatment options and risks. Proven physical activity and self-management education programs can be effective ways to reduce or manage arthritis pain without the use of drugs such as prescription opioids. Related resources for providers, patients, and partners are available on CDC’s Guideline Resources webpage.
- Mandatory Provider Review And Pain Clinic Laws Reduce The Amounts of Opioids Prescribed And Overdose Death Rates. Health Affairs, 2016
- CDC Opioid Overdose
- CDC Opioid Overdose State Information
- CDC Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
- CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016
- Prevalence of Severe Joint Pain Among Adults with Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis — United States, 2002–2014