Safe Prescribing Practices Save Lives

As Opioid Use Disorders (OUD) may develop as a result of being treated for an acute or chronic pain problem, it’s important that medical prescribers use caution when prescribing narcotic painkillers (opioids).  Following are safe prescribing resources that can be used to help minimize new OUD initiations.  

Resources for Safe Prescribing

Federal Resources

CDC's Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

Intended to improve communication between providers and patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain, improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatment, and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy, including opioid use disorder and overdose. 

CDC Opioid Fact Sheet for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

      A fact sheet for patients and prescribes to refer to to quickly learn about the opioid epidemic and how to make safe decisions regarding          these drugs.

California Resources

CDPH's Resources for Opioid Prescribers 

California Department of Public Health's prescribing guidelines and practices for treating acute pain that patients should be aware of and supportive of. 

 

Contra Costa County Resources

East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition

The East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition is a collaborative effort by the East Bay medical community, consumers and community leaders to promote safe and appropriate prescribing practices and reduce prescription drug abuse in the community. 

East Bay Safe Prescribing Guidelines for Acute Pain

A quick reference guide for health care providers. 

Monitoring Prescribing Rates

There were 641,374 prescriptions for opioids in Contra Costa in 2018 (excluding buprenorphine, a treatment drug). The annual prescribing rate during that period was 614.1 per 1,000 residents. This represents a 9% decrease in prescribing from 2017 to 2018. The following chart presents the opioid prescribing rate from 2008 to 2018.

Data shows that as the number of prescription opioid sales increased, deaths, and substance-abuse treatment admissions increased. In order to decrease the number of opioid related overdose deaths, its important that the rate of opioid prescribing must continue to be reduced.

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