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How States Can Help Curb Opioid Misuse (2016)

Increasing prescriber use of prescription drug monitoring programs is critical to stopping the opioid crisis

As the opioid crisis continues to ravage communities across the United States, policymakers and public health officials are increasingly using new tools such as prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)—state-based electronic databases that track the dispensing of certain controlled substances—to stem the misuse of prescription opioids and reduce overdose deaths.

PDMPs can be used to monitor patient use of these drugs and inform prescribing decisions. However, the number of prescribers actually using these databases in clinical care remains low.

A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Institute for Behavioral Health, Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University finds that states can increase prescriber use of PDMPs by adopting one or more of eight evidence-based practices