National Association of Attorneys General

National Association of Attorneys General National Association of Attorneys General

Attorneys General Urge Quick Adoption of CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Pain Relievers

Jan. 14, 2016

Washington, DC---The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), urging the agency to quickly adopt the proposed federal guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a significant danger, reaching epidemic levels in many states. Attorneys general work collaboratively with law enforcement and are regularly confronted with the problems caused by opioid abuse. Overall deaths from overdoses continue to rise.

“In order to reduce these deaths and injuries, we must provide clear guidance for prescribers to assess the appropriate balance between the potential harms and benefits of opioid use,” reads the NAAG letter. “The Guidelines provide a foundation for practice, recognizing that doctors will need to adapt them to meet the individual needs of their patients. But the core message—that many patients can be treated with lower doses or alternative methods--provides much needed direction to doctors.”

Opioids are used to treat extreme or intractable pain. Codeine, hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin) and oxycodone (e.g. OxyContin, Percocet) fall into this medication class.

The NAAG letter, signed by 36 state and territorial attorneys general, can be found here.

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