Pennsylvania Releases Opioid Guidelines

Personal Injury Blog

New State Guidelines Released for Prescribing Opioids

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 10, 2014

Statewide guidelines were released today by the Pennsylvania Departments of Drug and Alcohol Program and Health, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society which dictate procedures for prescribing opioids to treat chronic pain not associated with cancer.

A task force was formed by PA Governor Tom Corbett in an effort to reduce overdoses and rampant prescription drug use in Pennsylvania. There has been a dramatic increase in opioid prescriptions by Pennsylvania physicians for the treatment of chronic non-cancer related pain. It is believed this leads to more people being exposed to opioids in general, and in turn, leads to more people becoming addicts.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report which stated that 259 million prescriptions were written in 2012 for painkillers in America, which is enough for every adult in America to have their own bottle of pills.

Multi-Tiered Approach to Reducing Opioid Use

The new state guidelines suggest chronic pain be treated by multiple methods including physical therapy, behavioral therapy, stimulation therapy, and conscientious use of medications as required. Among other goals, the task force also helps train those who prescribe and dispense these medications to recognize the signs of addiction in their patients, so that they can recommend suggested treatment methods.

Endorsed by Major State Organizations

The new guidelines have been endorsed by the following organizations and associations:

  • Pennsylvania Medical Society
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians
  • Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
  • Geisinger Health System
  • Enterprise Pharmacy

The Pennsylvania Guidelines are available online at:


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