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State issues guidelines for prescribing opioids to combat epidemic

Leaders from three major health organizations in Indiana released a set of guidelines for helping patients deal with acute pain without relying on long term opioid use. The guidelines are part of the state's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

The Indiana Hospital Association (IHA), the Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) released the guidelines on Wednesday.

The Indiana Prescribing Guidelines for the Management of Acute Pain is an approach to addressing acute pain, but is not designed to supersede the doctor's judgment.

The guidelines suggest alternatives to medication, alternative prescription medications, and details precautions when opioids are prescribed.

“Providing doctors with these additional guidelines to use when prescribing opioids is a step toward reducing the impact of opioid addiction in Indiana,” said Dr. Kris Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner. “Our hope is that these guidelines will help physicians manage patients’ pain responsibly and encourage both doctors and patients to explore pain-management options that do not include the use of highly addictive opioids.”

Click here to read the guidelines

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