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Promising State Strategies

States have broad authority to influence and regulate the prescribing and dispensing of prescription drugs and do so in a variety of ways. CDC provides data and resources to equip and inform states about putting into practice strategies that help prevent high-risk prescribing and improve treatment for opioid use disorder.

Promising Strategies

To help prevent prescription drug overdose, states can advance the following promising strategies to ensure the health and wellbeing of their residents.

  • Consider ways to increase and maximize use of prescription drug monitoring programs, which are state-run databases that track prescriptions for controlled substances and can help improve opioid pain reliever prescribing, inform clinical practice, and protect patients at risk.
  • Consider policy options relating to pain clinics to reduce prescribing practices that are risky to patients.
  • Evaluate state data and programs and consider ways to assess Medicaid, workers’ compensation programs, and state-run health plans to detect and address inappropriate prescribing of opioid pain relievers, such as through use of prior authorization, drug utilization review, and patient review and restriction programs.
  • Increase access to substance abuse treatment services, including Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), for opioid addiction.
  • Identify opportunities to expand first responder access to naloxone, a drug used to reverse overdose.
  • Promote and support the use of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
  • Help local jurisdictions to put these effective practices to work in communities where drug addiction is common.
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