Welcome to Ohio’s online resource center for clinicians to learn and implement the state’s new guidelines for prescribing opioid pain killers. Prescription opioids account for more fatal overdoses than any other prescription or illegal drug, including cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens combined. The number of Ohio lives lost to unintentional drug overdose has risen from 369 lives in 1999 to 1,765 in 2011, a 440% increase! Prescription drugs are involved in most of the unintentional drug overdoses and have largely driven the rise in deaths. Prescription pain medications (opioids) and multiple drug use are the largest contributors to the epidemic.
Two years ago Governor John R. Kasich formed the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team to attack this statewide epidemic on multiple fronts. This team’s Professional Education Workgroup has reached consensus on recommended clinical guidelines when prescribing opioids to treat chronic, non-terminal pain.
These guidelines use 80 mg morphine equivalency dosing (MED) as a “trigger threshold,” as the odds of an overdose are significantly higher above that dose. The clinical guidelines recommend that at the 80 MED range or above the clinician “press pause” and re-evaluate how to optimize therapy and ensure patient safety. This pause also is a good time to consider potential adverse effects of long-term opioid therapy.
The clinical guidelines are intended to supplement - not replace - the prescriber's clinical judgment. They have been endorsed by numerous organizations including: Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, Ohio Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Ohio Pharmacists Association, State Medical Board of Ohio, Ohio Board of Nursing, Ohio State Dental Board, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Association of Health Plans, and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, among others.
Please explore the resources provided throughout this website, including the one-hour online Continuing Medical Education video module, “Ohio Opioid Prescribing Guidelines,” which outlines the scope of the prescription opioids problem, recommends prescribing clinical guidelines, provides action steps for healthcare providers and identifies metrics to assess the guidelines.
|Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D.
Ohio Department of Aging
Ohio Opiates Action Team Co-Chair
Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D.
Ohio Department of Aging