State lawmakers, doctors, and others in the medical profession have been hammering out new guidelines for prescribing these drugs to tackle the issue of over-use and alleviate the addiction crisis. We'll get the latest on this discussion and also find out how New Hampshire's approach compares with other states.
Read a summary of the hour-long conversation here.
- Gil Fanciullo, Director of the Pain Management Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Professor of Anesthesiology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
- Andrew Kolodny, Chief medical officer at Phoenix House, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization. Executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and senior scientist at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
- Cindy Rosenwald, Democratic Representative from Nashua. She is lead sponsor of a bill requiring various boards, including the board of medicine, to adopt rules for prescribing controlled drugs.
- David Strang, Chairman of the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Advisory Council, and an emergency physician and partner in Central NH ER Associates.
For more reporting on this issue, check out NHPR's series Dangerous Ends, which has been covering the opioid epidemic.
- New guidelines from the CDC for prescribing opioid pain medication: The guidelines were developed "to provide recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings. Recommendations focus on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 3 months or past the time of normal tissue healing) outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care."
- NHPR's reporting on the over-prescribing issue in N.H. - Opioid Prescriber's Story a Cautionary Tale as N.H. Faces Growing Crisis: "For years, Chris Clough prescribed more pain medication than almost anyone else in New Hampshire. Along the way, state regulators say, he broke nearly every rule in the book."
- More reporting on the state's prescription monitoring program - Addiction, Poor Care Drove N.H. Medicaid Patients to Shop Around for Opioid: "One patient received opioids from 64 prescribers across three states. Another received thousands of painkillers from 11 different prescribers. In a third case, a patient being treated for opioid dependence filled two dozen prescriptions for oxycodone from clinicians at 18 separate practices."
- Fact sheet for New Hampshire's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program