November 2017 - Opioid abuse prevention

  • Person with prescription

DHCFP helps spur statewide opioid abuse prevention efforts

Some 619 Nevadans died from drug overdose in 2015, according to the latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

The Nevada Division of Health Care Financing and Policy (DHCFP) is addressing prescription opioid abuse with several statewide partners by supporting guidelines for medical practitioners who prescribe opioids for chronic pain. Those guidelines include: setting stricter quantity limits on opioid prescriptions, prior authorization approval for long-acting narcotics, and reimbursement for alternatives to prescription medication use, such as physical, occupational and cognitive behavior therapies or a combination of behavioral therapy and closely monitored medication.

Another step in preventing opioid overdose is ready access to naloxone. When a person has an opioid overdose, breathing can slow down or stop. Naloxone helps breathing rates return to normal.

Emergency medical services personnel can administer naloxone injections to resuscitate patients in the early stages of opioid overdose. In 2015, Nevada passed the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, allowing family members, friends or other concerned bystanders to administer naloxone under a prescription authorized by a health care professional. DHCFP staff is also helping to administer a two-year, $5.6 million federal grant, providing Medicaid recipients with greater access to opioid addiction prevention and treatment programs.

Its efforts are part of a new Nevada initiative to create a sustainable treatment infrastructure, the Governor’s Opioid State Action Accountability Taskforce.

For more information on the DHCFP’s efforts, click on this link: Prescription Opioid Use

For details on the Nevada Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (NROOR) program, click here: NROOR Program Overview and Update