Indiana health leaders unveiled new guidelines for prescribing pain medication at the Statehouse Wednesday. They are part of state efforts to combat the opioid epidemic says Indiana drug czar Jim McClelland.
“The crisis that is resulting in economic costs approximating $1.5 billion in the state and incalculable human costs,” McClelland says.
The Indiana State Hospital Association, the State Department of Health and the Indiana State Medical Association collaborated to craft new guidelines that focus on management of outpatient acute pain.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box says that pain is short-term and normally fades with healing.
“Maybe you got your wisdom teeth out or tore an Achilles tendon, or perhaps you had surgery,” says Box.
The guidelines are meant to be a tool for Indiana’s prescribers. The state has one of the highest opioid prescription rates in the country.
“Extremely high, about 84 out of 100 Hoosiers obtained a script for opioids last year,” says Box.
The guidelines suggest other pain options, including physical therapy, over the counter painkillers and a pain management plan. The groups have partnered before to provide resources for prescribers in the state.
Indiana lawmakers are considering a handful of measures to address prescribing practices this session.