Get access to free educational materials and workshops regarding safe prescribing. Sign up below:
Handout – Prescription Opioids: What You Need to Know, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Ventura County versions
Handout – Pregnancy and Opioid Pain Medications, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Website – Opioid Overdose, Information for Patients, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Decals – We Check Because We Care, Ventura County Health Care Agency
Patients, family members and prescribers all benefit from messaging starting at the clinic door. Contact us for more information about materials.
Handout – OK to Drive, Ventura County Behavioral Health & California Office of Traffic Safety
Patient information about prescription safety and driving, a self-assessment checklist, and local resources. Contact us for more information about materials.
What You Can Do to Prevent Opioid Overdose
See the "Talking to Your Doctor" video
CURES 2.0 PRESCRIPTION MONITORING
The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) contains information about whether other clinicians have prescribed controlled substances to your patient. This type of information can help prescribers make informed decisions and avoid duplicate or additive types of medications from being provided to patients. The mandate to consult CURES prior to prescribing, ordering, administering, or furnishing a Schedule II-IV controlled substance became effective on October 2, 2018.
- Learn more about CURES 2.0
- PDF: What You Need to Know about Monitoring your Prescriptions
PRESCRIBING BEST PRACTICES
The following evidence-based interventions also lower overdose death rates:
- Avoid co-prescribing an opioid and a benzodiazepine. Nationally the number of opioid deaths involving benzodiazepine is increasing annually.
- Minimize opioid prescribing for acute pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), clinicians should avoid opioids, and when necessary, start with the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioids. Three days or less will often be sufficient. Opioids should not be considered first-line or routine therapy for chronic pain.
- Taper opioids to safer doses. The CDC recommends that for patients already on long-term high dose opioid therapy, taper to a dose that is lower than 50 milligrams of morphine equivalent. Slow opioid tapers as well as pauses in the taper may be needed for long-term users.
- Avoid “the 90-day cliff.” The CDC recommends opioids should be discontinued if benefits do not outweigh risks
- PDF – Quick Reference for Healthcare Providers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Pocket Guide – Tapering Opioids for Chronic Pain, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Website – CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline Resources
- Website – HHS.Gov/Opioids
The CDC recommends prescribing naloxone to patients on higher than 50 milligrams of morphine equivalents daily. The mandate to offer a prescription for naloxone to a patient at high risk of overdose became effective January 1, 2019.
- Learn more about the California naloxone mandate
- Learn more about how to get Naloxone
- Ventura County Overdose Prevention Program / Narcan® Access Line: 805-667-6663
- VCBH Substance Use Treatment Services – Getting Help
If someone you know needs substance use services, call the Access Line at 1-844-385-9200