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Overdose Prevention

The best way to prevent opioid overdose deaths is to improve opioid prescribing to reduce exposure to opioids, prevent abuse, and stop addiction.

Improve Prescribing

Improving the way opioids are prescribed through a clinical practice guideline helps health care providers offer safer, more effective treatment while reducing opioid-related abuse and overdose.

Prevent Abuse

	Almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014.There are a variety of ways to help reduce exposure to opioids and prevent abuse:

  • Prescription drug monitoring programs
  • State prescription drug laws
  • Insurance strategies such as prior authorization, quantity limits, and drug utilization review
  • Quality improvement programs in health care systems to increase implementation of recommended prescribing practices
  • Youth substance abuse prevention, such as intensive family or school-based programs
  • Patient education on the safe storage and disposal of prescription opioids
  • Discussing with your doctor the risks and treatment options before taking opioid medication

Provide Treatment and Prevent Death

For people struggling with opioid addiction, it is important to provide treatment, as well as a way to prevent overdose death.

Provide Treatment

Expand access to evidence-based treatment, including medication-assisted therapy (MAT). MAT is a comprehensive way to address the needs of individuals that combines the use of medication (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone) with counseling and behavioral therapies.

Prevent Death

Expand access to and use of naloxone – a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered in time. Naloxone is non-addictive, and expanding training on how to administer the drug can help basic emergency medical service staff reverse an opioid overdose and save more lives.

Did you know?

Good Samaritan Laws exist in many states. In the event of an overdose, these policies protect the victim and the person seeking medical help for the victim from drug possession charges.1

	image of the mobile app; The new Opioid Guide App is an easily accessible tool to help prescribers put CDCs Guideline into practice


  1. LawAtlas Policy Surveillance Dataset, Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Laws; created by NPO Staff, available at: [March 14, 2016].

Assess. Manage. Monitor. Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain