Implementing the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to save lives and prevent prescription opioid misuse, opioid use disorder and overdose by equipping providers with the knowledge, tools and guidance they need. The document aims to ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment by improving the way opioids are prescribed through an evidence-based clinical practice guideline, while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse or overdose from these drugs.

The purpose of the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain is to encourage careful and selective use of long-term opioid therapy in the context of managing chronic pain through:

  • An evidence-based prescribing guideline
  • Quality improvement measures to advance the integration of the CDC guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain into clinical practice
  • Practice-level strategies to improve care coordination

This Quality Improvement framework is nimble and flexible so that healthcare systems and practice leaders can pick interventions that are responsive to the unique conditions in their practice and patient population. The document is recommended for primary care providers and practices, healthcare systems and continuous quality improvement programs.