In wake of opioid abuse crisis, Capito leads bipartisan call for CDC to issue acute pain treatment prescription guidelines

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) led a congressional call on Monday for President Barack Obama to require the CDC to issue guidelines for prescribing opioids for acute pain.

Capito and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) co-authored a letter calling on the Obama administration to draft and publish prescribing guidelines to help curb addiction for opioids used to treat short-term pain.

“Prevention of overprescribing or inappropriate prescribing of opioids is a key component to combating the opioid epidemic,” Capito and Gillibrand wrote. “By developing and publishing a comprehensive guideline for prescribing opioids for the treatment of acute pain, we can minimize the initial exposure to opioid medications and further limit diversion of opioid prescriptions, which can have positive downstream effects on combating opioid abuse.”

Capito and Gillibrand introduced legislation in February, the Preventing Overprescribing for Pain Act, S.2567, that would require the CDC to release guidelines for opioid treatment of acute pain.

The CDC does not, however, need an act of Congress to establish and publish prescribing guidelines for acute pain.

“Similar to CDC’s development of the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, and the other ways in which your administration has taken initiative to use administrative authority to address the opioid epidemic, we encourage your administration to use its authority to develop and publish comprehensive guidelines for prescribing opioids for the treatment of acute pain,” the legislators said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that teenagers who receive an opioid prescription before graduating high school were 33 percent more likely to abuse opioids after high school.

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