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What can health providers do to help prevent prescription painkiller abuse?

Healthcare providers can follow guidelines for responsible prescribing, including screening and monitoring for substance abuse and mental health problems. Also, they can prescribe painkillers only when other treatments have not been effective for pain and prescribe only the quantity of painkillers needed based on the expected length of pain.

Healthcare providers can use prescription drug monitoring programs to identify patients who may be misusing or abusing prescription painkillers and therefore make more informed decisions about how to appropriately care for them.

Healthcare providers can use patient-provider agreements combined with urine drug tests for people using prescription painkillers long term. Also, talk with patients about safely using, storing and disposing of prescription painkillers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.