Safe prescribing and evidence-based treatment methods save lives.
Take the Pledge
The U.S. Surgeon General's call to end the opioid crisis. Pledge to:
- Treat pain safely and effectively.
- Screen patients for opioid use disorder and provide or connect them with evidence-based treatment.
- Talk about and treat addiction as a chronic illness, not a moral failing.
Safer Opioid Prescribing at Your Fingertips
- Download the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Opioid Guide App
- Online trainings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Information for Prescribers
Steps dental, medical, and pain management professionals can take to keep patients safe.
- Screen patients for substance use concerns.
- Talk about the risks of opioids.
- Follow prescribing guidelines from the Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board (PDF), Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (PDF), the Wisconsin Medical Society (PDF), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Give lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time possible
- Know when to initiate and continue opioids for chronic pain
- Avoid prescribing opioids and benzodiazepines concurrently whenever possible
- Check the Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP) for high dosages and prescriptions from other providers.
- Explain the importance and benefit of having naloxone available for overdose prevention.
- Monitor patients to make sure opioids are improving pain and function, without causing harm.
- Offer or arrange evidence-based treatment for patients misusing or abusing opioids.
Information for Pharmacists
Steps pharmacists can take to keep patients safe.
- Understand the patient’s treatment plan and condition, and ensure that the prescription is for a legitimate medical purpose.
- Ensure patients understand the proper dosage and directions for use.
- Educate patients about side effects and risks.
- Explain the importance of monitoring, safeguarding, and properly disposing of unused pain medications.
- Explain the importance and benefit of having naloxone (Narcan®) available for overdose prevention.
- Provide information on treatment options to patients suspected of misusing opioids.
MATx by SAMHSA
MATx is a free app developed by SAMHSA to improve access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. It is for practitioners who currently provide MAT, as well as those who plan to do so in the future. Download it now.
HIPPA and the Opioid Crisis
Health care providers have broad ability to share health information with patients’ family members during certain crisis situations without violating HIPAA privacy regulations. How HIPPA allows doctors to respond to the opioid crisis. (PDF)
Guidance for First Responders to Avoid Exposure to Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids
Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are considered especially hazardous to first responders because they can be absorbed through the mouth or eyes, allowing the drug to get into a person’s system and cause overdose. The drugs may also be inadvertently inhaled if particles become airborne, putting first responders, and others, at risk. This report from the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability offers guidelines on the selection and use of personal protective equipment and decontamination procedures for first responders. (PDF)
Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
This tool from SAMHSA (PDF) is designed to assist health care providers in caring for pregnant women and new mothers with opioid use disorder and their infants.