Information Resources for Opioids

Acute Pain Management - Meeting the Challenges: A VA Clinician's Guide

Provides information and recommendations on safe and effective methods for acute pain management for Veterans Health Administration (VHA) healthcare providers to promote safe opioid prescribing and decrease the number of veterans who develop opioid use disorder (OUD). Covers the Stepped Care model to manage acute pain including opioid use risks, opioid free and non-pharmacological approaches for pain management, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Alternative Pain Management and Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder – Federal Employees' Compensation Act Bulletin NO. 18-06

Announces a policy guiding the authorization of alternative, non-opioid pain management treatments and treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) for federal workers receiving workers' compensation. Aims to reduce barriers to non-opioid pain treatment, such as alternative pain medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and other treatment without medication, as well as in-patient pain management programs. Increases patient access to OUD treatments, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), opioid treatment programs, in-patient, out-patient, and emergency services.

Sponsor: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

Provides evidence-based information, guidance, clinical tools, webinars, training, and other resources on the safe and effective prescription of opioids to treat chronic pain in a primary care setting. Addresses patient-centered clinical practices, including accurate assessments, evaluation of treatment options, risk monitoring, and safely ending opioid treatment. Provides an overview of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) and the latest research and activity to reduce the occurrence of opioid use disorder (OUD).

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

Offers evidence-based information, recommendations, guides, and tools to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare providers and patients to assist in the decision making process to improve the health and treatment of patients with chronic pain. Includes information and algorithms for determining the appropriateness, risks, duration, and frequency of opioid therapy to prioritize safe and effective opioid prescribing practices.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Substance Use Disorders

Offers evidence-based information, recommendations, guides, and tools to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare providers and patients to assist in the decision making process to improve the treatment and outcomes for patients with substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use, and co-occurring mental health conditions. Describes best practices to help patients avoid preventable complications, reduce substance use, and improve their overall health and wellness.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
CMS Letter to State Medicaid Directors: Leveraging Medicaid Technology to Address the Opioid Crisis

Offers states information and advice regarding strategies to combat the opioid crisis using technology, as well as potential funding opportunities for these efforts. Discusses implementing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to track and facilitate the safe prescription of opioid medications, increasing interoperability, and telehealth services to improve care coordination among healthcare professionals.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS Letter to State Medicaid Directors: Strategies to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Describes treatment and prevention strategies aimed at increasing healthcare quality, availability, and outcomes for Medicaid recipients with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUDs). Discusses long-term objectives focused on enhancing states' ability to track and implement evidence-based services to help beneficiaries with OUD and SUDs.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS Opioid Prescribing Mapping Tools

Interactive mapping tools providing recent data on Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rates in the U.S. at the state, county, and zip code level, as well as state-level Medicaid data. Includes Medicare data on long-acting opioid prescribing rates, changes in prescribing rate, opioid prescribing hot spots and outliers, and rates in urban and rural areas. Offers data to better inform local prevention and treatment efforts, particularly in rural communities hard hit by the opioid crisis, and demonstrates CMS's commitment to opioid data transparency.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS Roadmap: Strategy to Fight the Opioid Crisis

Describes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) activities to address the opioid epidemic related to prevention, treatment, and data.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Community Assessment Tool: Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States

Interactive map that provides state and county-level data showing the rates of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Allows users to create maps illustrating connections between overdose deaths and social/economic demographic characteristics, including race/ethnicity, age, education, disability status, household income, poverty rates, unemployment rates and more.

Sponsor: USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)
Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose: What's Working in the United States

Offers evidence-based opioid overdose prevention practices for community leaders, local and regional organizers, nonprofit groups, law enforcement, public health and other members of the public. Provides summaries of effective strategies to prevent opioid overdose and the context in which they are most effective. Discusses targeted naloxone distribution, including Good Samaritan laws, syringe services programs, criminal justice settings, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and initiating MAT in emergency departments. Summarizes the major research on each practice and offers examples of organizations that have successfully used the strategies to reduce the risk of overdose.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Fentanyl and Carfentanil

Describes the uses and dangers of fentanyl and carfentanil, which are both extremely potent synthetic opioids. Includes methods for reducing opioid use and overdoses, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and naloxone distribution.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Guide to VA Mental Health Services for Veterans and Families

Details the mental health services Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals and clinics offer for veterans and their families and describes the VHA guiding principles for mental healthcare. Discusses the resources available for veterans and family members, and instructions on locating mental healthcare facilities and providers, including suicide prevention services and telemedicine visits. Covers treatment options for common mental health concerns, such as depression, substance abuse, and post traumatic stress disorder. Offers information on specific programs available to veterans with special needs, including women, those experiencing homelessness, veterans involved with the criminal justice system, and seniors.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Indian Health Service (IHS) Opioid Use Disorder and Pain

Offers comprehensive information and resources on the use of prescription opioids, managing chronic pain, and opioid use disorder (OUD) for patients and providers, specifically for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities and Indian Health Service (IHS) providers. Includes online tools, technical assistance resources, guides, and training for patients and providers on topics such as opioid crisis data, opioid prevention, COVID-19 response and opioids, proper pain management, opioid prescribing/stewardship, maternal health, syringe services programs, child health and wellness, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), tele-MAT, trauma informed care, best practices, wellness courts, and training opportunities. Resource is an initiative of the IHS Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP).

Sponsor: Indian Health Service (IHS)
Local Response to Public Health Emergencies: Focus on the Opioid Epidemic

Provides an overview of a 2017 pilot project to enhance the ability of local health departments (LHDs) to address opioid use and overdose in their communities. Aims to help LHDs work more effectively with state and local partners and reduce the occurrence of fatal and non-fatal overdose. Summarizes project activities and goals and a brief introduction to the four pilot sites: Bell County, Kentucky; Hillsborough County, New Hampshire; Montgomery County, Ohio; and Boone County, West Virginia.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Marijuana Use Patient Discussion Tool

Describes potential short and long term risks of marijuana use and how using marijuana can negatively affect attention, memory, reaction time, mental health, and organ health and function. Explains how the combination of marijuana and opioids and/or benzodiazepines can result in drowsiness, difficulty driving or operating machinery, and increased risk of overdose.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Medicare Coverage of Services in Opioid Treatment Programs

Describes a new benefit that covers opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment services under Medicare Part B medical insurance. Enables the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to make bundled payments to certified opioid treatment programs (OTPs) for OUD treatment services for an episode of care provided to Medicare Part B beneficiaries. Covers the following services under the new benefit: opioid agonist and antagonist medication-assisted treatment (MAT) medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), substance use counseling, individual and group therapy, toxicology testing, intake activities, and periodic assessments.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

Provides information on methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone and how they are used to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD). Covers the signs of an overdose and answers questions about each medication.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
MyHealtheVet Overdose Education for Veterans: Learning to Use Naloxone

Offers information and training videos on how to approach the topic of naloxone to individuals taking prescription opioids and with opioid use disorders (OUD). Includes videos demonstrating how to provide training for the three types of naloxone kits offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), including nasal spray, auto-injector, and intramuscular.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
New Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) Policy on Opioid Medications

Announces a policy, effective September 23, 2019, whereby injured federal workers receiving workers' compensation that are newly prescribed opioids will be limited to an initial 7-day supply. Allows an injured worker to receive a maximum of four sequential 7-day supply prescriptions, an initial and three subsequent prescriptions, for a total of 28 days before prior authorization is required. For additional opioid prescriptions exceeding the initial 28-day period, the prescribing physician will need to submit a form certifying the medical necessity of continued opioid use for approval from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP).

Sponsor: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Opioid Crisis and Substance Misuse

Provides tools, publications, and other resources for schools to provide services, support, and interventions to address opioid and substance misuse for students and their families. Includes information on substance use and related trauma among students. Discusses implementing positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) to improve school climate and reduce substance use.

Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program (OEND)

Provides an overview of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) program. Focuses on reducing opioid overdoses and deaths among veterans through education and training for prevention, recognition, rescue response, and naloxone kit use. Includes OEND videos and materials for providers and patients.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Opioid Overdose Prevention for States Microsite

Allows local organizations, providers, and other stakeholders to add a free, customizable version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opioid overdose website to their own websites. Helps communities disseminate online, up-to-date CDC opioid information and resources, as well as training on the CDC guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Opioid Policy Four-Point Strategic Plan to Protect Federal Injured Workers

Announces a four-point strategic plan to protect injured federal workers covered under the Federal Employee's Compensation Act from the risk of opioid misuse and addiction. Includes details on these policy initiatives and their progress, information on any new policies, as well as a discussion of opioid facts and risk factors for opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose, and links to additional resources.

Sponsor: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Opioid Safety Initiative Toolkit

Contains field guidance, evidence-based to the extent possible, in the form of documents and presentations to support clinical decisions about starting, continuing, or tapering opioid therapy, and other challenges related to safe opioid prescribing. Includes patient and provider education, clinical tools, and other resources.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Pain Education Materials Catalog

Provides a collection of pain-related instructional items cataloged by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Academic Detailing Service (ADS). Helps providers assist patients with pain management by providing tools, resources, guides, and other informational materials on topics such as pain, opioid safety, headaches, opioid use disorder (OUD), opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution, and suicide.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Pain: New Ways to Treat a Common Problem, Patient Guide

Describes the two types of pain: acute and chronic. Discusses pain management strategies and treatments, including non-medication treatments, non-opioid medication treatments, and opioids.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Preparing for Opioid-Related Emergencies for K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher Education

Fact sheet detailing the six-step planning process to help schools and institutions of higher education develop or update emergency operation plans (EOPs) to address potential threats and issues resulting from opioid misuse and abuse. Discusses the five mission areas of preparedness for opioid-related emergencies and the effects of the opioid crisis on school-aged children, young adults, and school safety. Includes links to additional resources and information to aid in the development of school EOPs, and programs and activities to address an opioid overdose.

Sponsor: Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS)
Rural Response to the Opioid Crisis Topic Guide

Provides an overview of the opioid crisis in rural America and includes information and resources on initiatives and funding opportunities to address the crisis. Covers successful rural model program examples, events, and other tools for prevention, harm reduction, and treatment. Product of the Rural Health Information Hub funded by a cooperative agreement through HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

Sponsor: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)
Rx Awareness Campaign

Provides information and resources to help states and local communities building media campaigns to increase awareness and educate the public on the dangers of opioid prescriptions. Offers videos, radio spots, social media posts, signage, and online ads that cover opioid treatment and recovery, overdose prevention, and real life stories of addiction and loss due to prescription opioids.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
SAMHSA Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center

Provides communities, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and others with reports, guides, toolkits, and other resources to implement evidence-based practices for mental illness and substance use disorders (SUDs). Focuses on opioid use disorder (OUD) and other SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery options.

Sponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Programs

Provides an overview of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and information on opioid treatment programs (OTPs). Describes the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, which allows physicians and other practitioners to provide MAT to a larger patient population. Includes information and training resources for healthcare providers, researchers, and patients.

Sponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Summary of VA Treatment Programs for Substance Use Problems

Provides an overview of treatment options for veterans experiencing substance use issues. Includes information on therapy, medications to reduce opioid and other substance use, intensive outpatient treatment, residential care, continuing care and relapse prevention, self-help groups, and more.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Teens Linked to Care (TLC)

Details a school-centered pilot project that examined implementing strategies to prevent youth substance abuse and risky sexual behaviors in high-risk rural communities in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Highlights efforts to address related issues of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), teen pregnancy, and high-risk substance use through education, primary prevention, and early detection screening. Program activities included implementing new health curricula, partnering with health departments and community drug-free coalitions, and developing and distributing informational products and video campaigns.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
VA PBM: Academic Detailing Service (ADS) Resources

Provides access to education materials advocating for evidence-based treatments to help providers improve the health of veterans. Offers provider and patient education tools and outreach resources to encourage evidence-based decision making for a variety of medical conditions and diseases, including opioid use disorder (OUD) and substance use disorders (SUDs), pain, suicide, dementia, depression, HIV, and more.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
VA Substance Use Resources

Provides an overview of alcohol and drug misuse, screening, treatment options, and programs and services for veterans. Covers evidence-based psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for substance use disorders (SUDs), medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD) and other SUDs, motivational interviewing and enhancement therapy, and more. Includes additional resources to help veterans and family members access SUD treatment and recovery support services.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Young Children Who Are Exposed Prenatally to Substances and Their Families

Provides information for state and local early intervention systems regarding the prevalence of infants and toddlers prenatally exposed to substances, and resources and supports needed to promote positive outcomes for these infants and their families. Shares links to key research, policy, guidance and state examples, and evidence-based practices for supporting young children exposed prenatally to substances and their families. Product of the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center funded by a cooperative agreement through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)