Find information on opioid prescribing, naloxone co-prescribing, and medications for opioid use disorder below.
The Idaho Board of Medicine in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Idaho Board of Pharmacy, and the Idaho Board of Dentistry have developed a course, "Opioid Prescribing Guidelines and Use of the Idaho Prescription Drug Monitoring Program" to provide tips on utilizing the Idaho PDMP and implementing the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. This course was updated in June 2021 to reflect new information relevant to Idaho providers.
Course completion will result in one (1) Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit.
Select the link to access the free CE/CME opportunity.
Opioid prescribing resources
As a healthcare provider, you have a responsibility to ensure controlled substances are prescribed solely for a genuine medical need.
While there's no uniform way to identify medication misuse, there are some common signs you may see:
- Assertive personality (e.g., demanding immediate action)
- Unusual knowledge of controlled substances
- Gives medical history with textbook answers or gives vague answers relating to their medical history
- May request a specific drug and be reluctant to try something different
- No interest in diagnosis and often fails to keep appointments for further diagnostic tests or consultation with another practitioner
- Patient may decline permission to obtain past records
- Claims to be a patient of a practitioner that is not currently available
- Has multiple unexplained dose escalation or non-adherence to treatment plans
Download the forms below to assist in prescribing practices:
Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) - English
Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) - Spanish
Naloxone co-prescribing is one important tool prescribers can use to help prevent opioid overdose deaths. Co-prescribing naloxone is strongly recommended for patients at-risk for opioid overdose. In continuing these efforts, prescribers and other healthcare providers can monitor patients for risk of overdose, prescribe or dispense naloxone when overdose risk factors are present, and teach patients on how to use it.
Naloxone is not currently available over-the-counter. However, Idaho’s law allows pharmacists and other health professionals to prescribe and dispense to anyone at risk for an opioid-related overdose or to anyone who may encounter such an individual.
Calculating the total daily dose of opioids helps identify patients who are at higher risk of overdose.
Use extra precautions for patients at ≥50 MME/day. Consider closely monitoring patients, reducing or tapering of opioids, and/or prescribing of naloxone. Avoid or carefully justify increasing dosage to ≥90 MME/day.
1. Determine the total daily amount of each opioid the patient takes
2. Convert each to MME — multiply the dose for each opioid by the conversion factor (see table)
3. Add them together
Select the link to access a free opioid dose calculator
Consider tapering to a reduced opioid dosage, or tapering and discontinuing opioid therapy, when:
- Pain improves
- The patient requests dosage reduction or discontinuation
- Pain and function are not meaningfully improved
- The patient is receiving higher opioid doses without evidence of benefit from the higher dose
- The patient has current evidence of opioid misuse
- The patient experiences side effects that diminish quality of life or impair function
- The patient experiences an overdose or other serious event (e.g., hospitalization, injury) or is in a high-risk situation
- The patient is receiving medications (e.g., benzodiazepines) or has medical conditions that increase risk for adverse outcomes
(Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
For more guidance on tapering opioid prescriptions, refer to the CDC’s video: “Tapering Opioids for Chronic Pain”
The Idaho PDMP is a statewide electronic database that collects designated data on controlled substances dispensed in Idaho. The Idaho PDMP is connected with PDMPs in neighboring states. This tool is for prescribers of controlled substances and pharmacists who are considering dispensing controlled substance prescriptions to patients.
The Idaho PDMP serves several purposes:
- Supports access to legitimate medical use of controlled substances
- Identifies and deters or prevents drug abuse and diversion
- Helps identify and facilitates treatment of person with opioid use disorder (or substance use disorder)
- Avoids dangerous combinations of benzodiazepines and opioids
- Informs public health initiatives through analysis of the PDMP database
Beginning October 1, 2020, Idaho providers are required to check the PDMP prior to issuing an opioid or benzodiazepine prescription that is for more than a 3-day supply.
Click the link to login and register for the Idaho PDMP: https://idaho.pmpaware.net