This section of VaAware is designed to assist health care professionals in the treatment of pain, prescribing of opioids, recognition and treatment of addiction, and opportunities for continuing education in all of these areas. It is managed by the Department of Health Professions, which licenses over 350,000 practitioners in more than 60 fields, including all prescribers: pharmacists, medical doctors, osteopaths, podiatrists, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and optometrists.
This information is critically important because there is a linear relationship between the sale of opioid pain relievers and opioid deaths (see below), and these topics (the treatment of pain, prescribing of opioids, and the recognition and treatment of addiction) have generally not been specific subject areas of medical or graduate medical education.
In March 2016 the Center for Disease Control released its Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Below are the recommendations. For prescribers and pharmacists, the full report and extensive guideline resources are also available.
In October 2016, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services published the Report of the Health and Criminal Justice Data Committee which provides a multidisciplinary perspective on issues that impact both the health and criminal justice spheres.