The 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain is in the process of being updated to include new evidence and recommendations on acute, subacute, and chronic pain. The updated clinical practice guideline is intended to help improve communication between healthcare professionals and patients and empower them to make informed, patient-centered decisions related to safer and effective pain care.

Opioid Prescribing Guideline Resources

photo of a hand writing a prescription

Resources for Improving Communication Between Providers & Patients

Safer Prescribing Saves Lives: Opioid Prescribing Guideline

Chronic pain is common, multidimensional, and individualized. Treatment can be challenging for healthcare providers as well as patients.

The number of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids increased nearly five times in 2020 than in 1999, and more than 263,000 people have died from overdoses involving prescription opioids since 1999.The recommendations in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain focus on clinical practice and provide evidence and guidance to improve how these drugs are prescribed—and ultimately improve patient care.

  1. Hedegaard H, Miniño AM, Spencer MR, Warner M. Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2020 [PDF]. National Center for Health Statistics, December 2021.
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