State issues new opioid guidelines aimed at curbing abuse

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority has released new guidelines for prescribing opioids to patients with short-term acute pain.

The Register-Guard reports that it’s part of a larger strategy to curb opioid abuse.

The guidelines include advising doctors not to consider opioids for mild to moderate pain in patients who haven’t had past exposure to opioids. Doctors should also check on the patient’s history of substance abuse problems, educate them about safe storage and disposal and prescribe the lowest effective dose.

State Health Officer Dr. Katrina Hedberg says most people who end up using opioids in the long-term are those who started with a prescription to treat mild to moderate acute pain, such as a broken arm.

The guidelines are aimed at urgent care facilities, outpatient facilities, primary care doctors, emergency departments and post-surgery doctors.