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Opioid Misuse and Prevention for Prescribers

Baltimore County Department of Health
6401 York Road, Third Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21212-2130

Phone: 410-887-3828
TTY users call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1

Each year, millions of patients are treated for a variety of serious medical conditions with prescription drugs whose therapeutic benefits can alter behavior, mood and consciousness. This is particularly true of the management of chronic pain, which often involves potent opioid pain relievers. The misuse and abuse of prescription opioid pain relievers is on the rise. Physicians and other health care professionals thus face the challenge of minimizing the potential for misuse of these important medications without impeding patients’ access to needed medical care.

Health care providers are vital in decreasing the number of opioid related overdose deaths. Data shows overdose death rates are on the rise. Prescribing drugs responsibly can help avoid unnecessary deaths.

Screening Tools

Screening tools are available to help assess risk for opioid abuse among individuals who are prescribed opioids.

Treatment Resources

The Baltimore County Department of Health provides treatment through community providers for substance users and their families, offers programs and services to prevent substance use, and develops, coordinates and monitors a countywide network of substance use prevention and disorder treatment services (PDF).

As of June 1, 2017, anyone can get naloxone (PDF) at a Maryland pharmacy without a prescription. 

Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

The Maryland PDMP has been established by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) to support healthcare providers and their patients in the safe and effective use of prescription drugs. Enrollment for PDMP is mandatory by July 1, 2017. Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) provides an online guide that offers step by step assistance on how to enroll (PDF). View a training video from the Maryland PDMP for physicians and prescribers.

Best Practices

Improving the way opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines can ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse or overdose from these drugs.

Additional Resources

Revised October 29, 2019         


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