MEDFORD, Ore. — In Oregon, prescription pain medications have been involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, which is why ER physicians across the state are adopting guidelines to keep opiates out of the wrong hands.
Providence Medford Medical Center says it has been using similar guidelines for about three years now. Those guidelines include: not refilling lost or stolen medications, not prescribing opiates to treat chronic pain, asking for a photo ID and using Oregon’s new prescription database that tracks all opiates prescribed throughout the state.
Providence says since implementing the use of the statewide database in June it has declined opiates to a significant number of patients. Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center says it’s emergency room also uses the database and guidelines.