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Health & Science

Ohio Doctors Get Guidelines for Prescribing Painkillers

photo of Mary Taylor

State officials are laying out guidelines for what doctors should consider before they prescribe addictive painkillers. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.


Gov. John Kasich’s opiate action team’s new guidelines for acute pain ask doctors to go to therapy first, such as ice, heat and acupuncture. If a doctor does prescribe opiates, the guidelines ask that a minimum number of pills are doled out and that doctors avoid automatic refills.

Michael Kelly is the medical director for the OhioHealth hospital system and says doctors are unwittingly contributing to the drug epidemic.

“We must do everything we can to stop contributing to the disease and instead contribute to the cure.”

These guidelines are voluntary and the state has no way of mandating the suggestions. However, the state hopes that groups such as Kelley’s OhioHealth will take it upon themselves to insert these guidelines into their own policies.