Information for people using pain pills or other opioids

Frequently Asked Questions

Overdose deaths are on the rise throughout the nation. To learn more, please visit our Pain Pills/Opioids FAQ.

Prescription Opioids, Tools for Safe Prescribing


Safe Prescribing Guidelines:

The following guidelines provide a basic framework for approaching pain management, and treatment decision making, in the primary care setting.
Safe Prescribing Practices and Resources

Pain Treatment Plans:
Treatment plans allow prescribers and patients to discuss expectations regarding the use of pain medications.  A policy of starting a pain contract with any patient prescribed chronic opioids eliminates “profiling” patients who are assumed to be more or less likely to abuse their medications.
Example 1: Pain Treatment Agreement
Example 2: Controlled Substances Policy and Agreement

Pain Assessment:
Brief Pain Inventory© (BPI) : The BPI is one of the most widely used clinical pain assessment tools and can be administered via self report or interview.  Assessment areas include: severity of pain, impact of pain on daily function, location of pain, pain medications and amount of pain relief in the past 24 hours.

Brief Pain Inventory
Also available at:
Naloxone Prescription:
Used in emergency settings for decades, naloxone reverses opioid overdoses without any side effects beyond opioid withdrawal.  With brief and basic training patients and their families can be trained to efficiently identify the signs of overdose and administer naloxone, along with calling 911 and offering rescue breathing.   There is more information about offering prescription naloxone at your clinic at:


Patient Education Materials

Patient/Caregiver Education, General
(opioid basics, signs of addiction, tips for patients and signs of an overdose)

Patient/Caregiver Education, Overdose Specific

(overdose prevention, signs of an overdose, overdose response)


Continuing Medical Education Opportunities

Minimizing the Risk of Prescription Opioid Misuse (online):
Provides up to 4 hours of instruction on clinical skills training using examples from pain and addiction patients. 

Buprenorphine DATA 2000 Training Program:
Training for certification to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid addiction is available online through two sites.  Training addresses addiction topics that may be pertinent to any clinician prescribing opioids, or treating patients with an addiction history. and