The Public Health Law Program provides selected resources for public health practitioners and their legal counsel.
State Laws on Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse
The United States is experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of prescription drug overdose deaths. The primary responsibility to regulate and enforce prescription drug practices falls to the states. State laws are often used to prevent various injuries, with demonstrated benefits, yet little information exists about the effectiveness of state statutes or regulations designed to prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion. In partnership with CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, PHLP created menus summarizing some of the legal strategies states have used to address prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose.
- Menu of Prescription Drug Time and Dosage Limit Laws[PDF 373KB]
An inventory of time and dosage limit laws on the prescribing or dispensing of controlled substances.
- Menu of Physical Examination Requirements[PDF 405KB]
An inventory of physical examination laws that expressly require a practitioner to examine or evaluate the patient before prescribing or dispensing controlled substances.
- Menu of Doctor Shopping Laws[PDF 335KB]
An inventory of state legal strategies to help assess doctor shopping laws. Doctor shopping is when a patient visits multiple healthcare practitioners to obtain controlled substances without the prescribers’ knowledge of the other prescriptions.
- Menu of Tamper-Resistant Prescription Form Requirements[PDF 506KB]
An inventory of various state laws aimed at inhibiting diversion of prescription drugs by establishing requirements for tamper-resistant prescription forms
- Menu of State Prescription Drug Identification Laws[PDF 323KB]
An inventory of various provisions in state prescription drug identification laws, including laws requiring patients to show personal identification to pharmacists before receiving prescription drugs
- Menu of Pain Management Clinic Regulation[PDF 235KB]
An inventory of state legal strategies to help assess pain management clinic laws
- Menu of State Laws Related to Prescription Drug Overdose Emergencies[PDF 176KB]
An inventory of emergency laws that grant people who call 911 in response to an overdose emergency either immunity from prosecution or mitigation in prosecution or at sentencing
- Pseudoephedrine: Legal Efforts To Make It a Prescription-Only Drug[PDF - 188KB]
An overview of legal efforts at the federal, state, and local levels to limit access to pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used to make methamphetamine
Learn more about prescription drug overdose on CDC’s Injury Prevention & Control page.
Disclaimer: Information available on this website that was not developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not necessarily represent any CDC policy, position, or endorsement of that information or of its sources. The information contained on this website is not legal advice; if you have questions about a specific law or its application you should consult your legal counsel.
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