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Just like any disease, early diagnosis, efficient referral, and appropriate level of treatment are critical for desired outcomes.  Substance Use Disorders are no different.  More and more, Primary Care Physicians (PCPs)  are now responsible for the detection, assessment, and intervention of substance use disorders.  At minimum, routine screening for alcohol use and substance misuse should be part of all primary care practices.  Ideally, PCPs should be comfortable and competent in their ability to assess, intervene, and treat or refer substance-abusing patients.

Prescription drug abuse has become an issue of national importance.  In order to help stem this epidemic, there has been a call for more judicious prescribing on the part of physicians and other healthcare providers.  These guidelines suggest that health care providers incorporate the following key practices for patient's receiving opioids under their care.​

Prescriber Guidelines

All approved prescribing guidelines are maintained on the Department of Health's (DOH) Website (  Choose the Opiods link in the Hot Topics column, then click on the Prescribing Guidelines for Physicians and Prescribers heading to be taken to the Opioid Prescribing Guidelines main page where you will find links to the various topic specific guidelines.