New Opioid Guidelines for Patients With Short-Term Pain Issued in Oregon

November 14, 2018

By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa

The Oregon Health Authority recently announced new guidelines for prescribing opioids to patients who have short-term acute pain, such as a sprained ankle or after having a tooth removed.

State Epidemiologist and State Health Officer Dr. Katrina Hedberg said the guidelines are part of a much larger strategy the state has been using since 2016 to curb the abuse of opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone.

The state already has guidelines in place for the long-term use of opioids for pain management and guidelines for dentists. These new guidelines are aimed at urgent care facilities, outpatient facilities, primary care doctors, emergency departments and post-surgery doctors.

“These are very powerful, very dangerous drugs,” she said.

The national and state opioid crisis is not the fault of patients or doctors, Hedberg said. It’s only recently that medical professionals and patients have come to realize how potent these drugs are.

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