West Virginia to Follow CDC Opioid Prescription Guidelines

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The governor of West Virginia says the state has developed a plan that adheres to federal guidelines for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain.

Local news organizations report that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday that starting in January, doctors who prescribe pain pills will be required to follow recent prescribing guidelines developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends that opioids should not be considered a first-choice treatment, and that patients should be educated about and agree to all treatment decisions regarding chronic pain.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling says the state is implementing the guidelines to reduce opioid overuse and abuse.

The DHHR will begin educating providers about the guidelines later this month.