What Can Be Done

Wellness Update - - What Doctors Know And Your Should, Too! -

The US govern­ment is

En­forc­ing fed­eral laws to pre­vent non­med­i­cal

use of methadone. Ed­u­cat­ing health care providers and con­sumers about the cor­rect use of methadone. Track­ing pre­scrip­tion drug over­dose trends

and the im­pact of ef­forts to stop over­doses.

States can

De­velop and pro­mote the use of safe

pre­scrib­ing guide­lines for methadone. Sup­port the use of methadone as a treat­ment for opi­oid de­pen­dence in opi­oid treat­ment pro­grams. Use pre­scrip­tion drug mon­i­tor­ing pro­grams to iden­tify pa­tients who are us­ing methadone or other pre­scrip­tion painkillers for non­med­i­cal pur­poses.

Health care providers can

Fol­low guide­lines for pre­scrib­ing methadone and other pre­scrip­tion painkillers cor­rectly, in­clud­ing Screen­ing and mon­i­tor­ing for sub­stance

abuse and men­tal health prob­lems. Pre­scrib­ing only the quan­tity needed based

on the ex­pected length of pain. Us­ing pre­scrip­tion drug mon­i­tor­ing pro­grams to iden­tify pa­tients who are mis­us­ing or abus­ing methadone or other pre­scrip­tion painkillers. Mon­i­tor pa­tients on high doses for heart

rhythm prob­lems. Ed­u­cat­ing pa­tients on how to safely use, store, and dis­pose of methadone and how to pre­vent and rec­og­nize over­doses.

Health in­sur­ers can

Eval­u­ate methadone’s place on pre­ferred

drug lists. Con­sider strate­gies to en­sure that pain treat­ment with any dose higher than 30 mg of methadone a day (the rec­om­mended max­i­mum daily start­ing dose) is ap­pro­pri­ate.

In­di­vid­u­als can

Use methadone only as di­rected by a health

care provider. Make sure they are the only ones to use their methadone and never sell or share it with oth­ers. Store methadone in a se­cure place and dis­pose of it prop­erly. See www.cdc.gov/ Home­an­dRecre­ation­al­Safety/Poi­son­ing/ preventiontips.htm for cor­rect stor­age and dis­posal of med­i­ca­tions. Get help for sub­stance abuse prob­lems 1-800-662-HELP or www.samhsa.gov/treat­ment/.

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