The stigma of opioid abuse remains a significant barrier to addiction treatment for most patients. The overuse of opioids by patients and the number of opioid prescriptions written by physicians has skyrocketed over the last five years. Physicians struggle to find resources to assist them in the treatment of their patients with an opioid addiction problem, until now.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently published a 2-page document, Resources For Opioid Prescribers, providing a summary of organizations, websites, and treatment centers which can assist physicians in addressing the issue of addiction with patients. The resource guide provides:
- Strategies for assisting high-risk patients
- Medication-assisted treatment certification programs
- Local addiction recovery services locator
- Information about CURES (California’s prescription drug monitoring program)
- Opioid prescribing guidelines
- Opioid prescriber resource sheet
Included with the Resource Guide is a CDPH letter which briefly describes each of the topics and the links to resources described above.
It is well known, that the United States has an opioid problem. The Centers for Disease Control report that 2 million Americans are currently abusing or are dependent on prescription opioids such as Percocet, OxyContin, and Vicodin. Nearly 20,000 Americans die from overdoses of these medicines every year. Education and resources to assist prescribers identify and treat these patients on safe administration and safe disposal of unused opioids is also a key factor in curbing the availability and overuse of opioids. See Safe Medicine Disposal Options by County.