Learn about the opioid crisis, safe opioid prescribing, and overdose prevention.
Opioids and the Opioid Crisis
Review general information and related resources on opioids and the opioid overdose crisis, including an overview of how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health are taking steps to combat it. Read about other current national strategies and guidelines to tackle the crisis, such as:
- The U.S. Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids
- The CDC's Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
- The FDA's Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy
- The Center for Medicare and Medicaid's:
Opioids, Pregnancy, and Neonatal Care
Pregnancy and the postpartum period are critical times to intervene to help women with unhealthy substance use and their babies. Visit the Opioids, Pregnancy, and Neonatal Care page for practice guidance; research and news; and further education for clinicians on treating opioid-dependent pregnant women, mothers, and infants.
Opioid Prescribing & Pain
Discover resources to help address pain and that you can use in your practice before, during, and after prescribing opioids.
Considerations before Prescribing Opioids
Before prescribing, consider familiarizing yourself with the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and the Improving Opioid Prescribing factsheet from NIDA. Reviewing the Commonly Used Long-acting Opioids Chart can also guide initiation of opioid therapy for patients with pain conditions. Visit the NIDAMED education page for continuing education courses related to opioids.
- Sample Informed Consent Form – For patient reference prior to initiation of opioid therapy for pain.
- Sample Patient Agreement Forms – Example forms detailing terms and conditions of long-term opioid therapy for pain.
- Administering a Narcotic Contract – Web-based annotated video illustrating how to implement a narcotic contract with a patient.
Monitoring Opioid Prescriptions
Changing or Discontinuing Opioids
- How to Change Routes of Administration of Opioids – Dosing guidelines for use when changing routes of administration of commonly used opioid analgesics.
- Sample Notification of Discontinuation of Opioid Treatment Form – Form used to provide patients with information about why opioid treatment can no longer be provided and information about local treatment programs
- Knowing When to Say When: Transitioning Patients from Opioid Therapy – A course that covers how to recognize aberrant drug-taking behaviors, strategies for monitoring patients, using a risk-benefit framework to help determine options for discontinuation of opioids, and strategies for transition patients off of opioids and how to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Find additional opioid prescribing resources for prescribers, pharmacists, and patients from the Boston Medical Center TOPCARE (Transforming Opioid Prescribing in Primary Care) team.
View the research and learn more about managing different types of pain with these tools: