Managing Risk When Prescribing Narcotics Painkillers

Managing Risk When Prescribing Narcotics

This CME activity explores the rise in legal issues that could result in mismanagement of opioids for the treatment of pain. According to a study of Massachusetts death files for 1990 to 2003, opioid-related fatal poisoning rates increased by 529%. Similar studies confirm that this is not an issue limited to Massachusetts but is a national and international problem. The use of opioids, more commonly known as narcotics, have continued to increase for the management of pain. Physicians need to be aware of the legal concerns of pain management and actionable steps they can take in their practice that may reduce that risk such as:

  • Setup systems to identify and monitor patients for potential drug abuse
  • Enter into pain management contracts with patients
  • Identify when to refer to a certified pain specialist
  • Understand the potential legal consequences of terminating the physician-patient relationship


Learning Objectives
Review data on the magnitude of the opioid issues in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the country. Describe some successfully implemented strategies to cope with this epidemic rise in opioid addiction. Explore risk management methods for practitioners to that may limit potential liability exposure.

Course Fees
MMS Member Physicians: $12
Nonmember Physicians: $22
Allied Health Professionals: $9.60

Format: Text

CME Credit: 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, risk management study


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