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Information for Providers

Safe Prescribing Saves Lives

Chronic pain is common, multidimensional, and individualized, and treatment can be challenging for healthcare providers as well as patients. In response to the critical need for consistent and current opioid prescribing guidelines, the CDC released the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

Since 1999, opioid prescription deaths have increased by more than five times, and over 200,000 people have died from prescription opioids.1, 2 These recommendations focus on clinical practice and provide evidence and guidance to improve how these drugs are prescribed—and ultimately improve patient care.


  1. Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017/
  2. Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2017. Available at