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New Guidelines Address Acute Pain Management

Indiana Drug Czar Jim McClelland announces new prescription guidelines.

Photo: Jill Sheridan (IPB News)

Indiana Drug Czar Jim McClelland announces new prescription guidelines.

Indiana health leaders unveiled new guidelines for prescribing pain medication at the Statehouse Wednesday. They are part of state efforts to combat the opioid epidemic says Indiana drug czar Jim McClelland.

“The crisis that is resulting in economic costs approximating $1.5 billion in the state and incalculable human costs,” McClelland says.

The Indiana State Hospital Association, the State Department of Health and the Indiana State Medical Association collaborated to craft new guidelines that focus on management of outpatient acute pain.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box says that pain is short-term and normally fades with healing.

“Maybe you got your wisdom teeth out or tore an Achilles tendon, or perhaps you had surgery,” says Box.

Indiana has one of the highest opioid prescription rates in the country.

The guidelines suggest other pain options, including physical therapy, over the counter painkillers and a pain management plan. The groups have partnered before to provide resources for prescribers in the state.

Indiana lawmakers are considering a handful of measures to address prescribing practices this session.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said 84 out of 100 Hoosiers had been prescribed opioids in the last year. That was incorrect. There were 84 opioid prescriptions per 100 Hoosiers in 2016.

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