Oklahoma Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

Posted on: 8/8/17

Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s fastest growing drug problem. Our state has one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation, with nearly 3,200 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007-2011. Eighty-one percent of these deaths involved at least one prescription drug, and opioids were involved in 87 percent of the prescription drug-related deaths.

Adult hospital stays involving opioid overuse increased more than 150 percent between 1993 and 2012, to 709,500 per year, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. That’s an average annual increase of 5 percent, with the largest increases among women (6.3 percent), people aged 85 and older (9.1 percent) and the Midwest region (9.1 percent). The Medicare share of opioid-related stays more than doubled over the period to 30 percent. The estimates, based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, exclude hospitalizations involving illegal drug use.

Gov. Fallin and many state agencies and organizations have declared the reduction of prescription drug overdoses in Oklahoma a priority. A state plan was developed in 2014 and updated in 2016. A workgroup of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, public and mental health experts, and numerous related organizations was created to develop opioid prescribing guidelines for Oklahoma. These Guidelines were developed by using the CDC recommendations with the goal to help reduce the misuse of prescription opioids while preserving and supporting the vital role of medical providers to properly and appropriately treat pain.

The Oklahoma Hospital Association has endorsed the Oklahoma Emergency Department (ED) and Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, and encourages their adoption throughout the state.

Please share these guidelines with your medical staff by having this as an agenda item on all medical staff meetings. Encourage the emergency medicine committee to determine how they will integrate the guidelines in to their prescribing policy and procedure. 

A patient information sheet and a copy of the of the ED/UCC guidelines summary with the logos of endorsers are below. We appreciate your efforts to help reduce prescription drug misuse in Oklahoma!  For additional information, visit http://poison.health.ok.gov.