Provider’s Toolkit

“…There is no consistent, high quality, evidence that chronic opioid therapy is effective for the treatment of non-cancer pain.” – Dr. Camden Kneeland, Medical Director, Montana Center for Wellness and Pain Management and MMA Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Faculty.


Risk Factors for Developing a Prescription Drug Abuse Problem

Many patients fear that they may become addicted to medications that are prescribed to them for legitimate medical conditions, such as painkillers after surgery.  These risk factors may be considered as potential lead-ins to prescription drug abuse:

  • Past or present addictions including alcohol
  • Pre-existing psychiatric conditions
  • Exposure to peer pressure or social environment where there is drug use
  • Easy access to prescription drugs, such as working in a health care setting
  • Lack of knowledge about prescription drugs
  • Multiple health problems and taking multiple medications

If you suspect your patient has a substance abuse issue, refer them here.


Health Risks of Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Organ damage and failure
  • Tolerance to the medication
  • Psychological addiction and cravings
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Decreased cognitive function

Controlled Substance Risks Agreements

Risks – One Page Patient Form
Risks – Pain Agreement

Download all PDFs
Download Editable Files
Montana Prescription Drug Registry

Continuing Medical Education


Register Online              Printable Brochure

The Montana Medical Association and its partners designed a three hour course, delivered through four online modules to help health care teams find the proper balance between providing appropriate treatment for patients while protecting them from opioid addiction.  Upon completion of the four module webcasts, medical professionals will receive a CME Certificate.

The series provides valuable direction for physicians and non-physicians who are involved in patient care concerning opioid medications.  Physicians are encouraged to include all appropriate members of their teams in this training. The program addresses the problem on a state and national level, how to prescribe opioids and how to communicate with patients about the dangers of prescription drugs.Non-physicians who complete the webinar and a post-webinar evaluation will also receive a certificate of completion.

Course Intended For All Specialties: Physicians, Dentists, Physician’s Assistants, Pharmacists, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Advanced Practice Nurses

Course Objectives:

  1. Implement recommended prescribing practices and alternate forms of treatment for patients presenting with acute or chronic pain.
  2. Use the toolkit and resources to manage patient treatment.
  3. Apply the state and federal laws as related to prescribing Schedule II drugs.
  4. Examine the prescription drug issue from a state and national level.

American College of Physicians program:

ACP’s curriculum provides a comprehensive educational program for primary care clinicians to safely and effectively manage patients with chronic pain. Clinicians can log on to to access the Pain Management Clinical Resource Center course sessions for online CME. Upon completion of the six half-hour webcasts, clinicians will receive a Safe Opioid Prescribing Certificate.

Available Sessions:

  • Evaluation is Essential for Safe and Effective Pain Management Using ER/LA Opioids
  • Best Practices for How to Start Therapy with ER/LA Opioids, How to Stop, and What to Do in Between
  • Evidence-Based Tools for Screening for Patients at Risk and Monitoring for Adherence to Prescribed ER/LA Opioids
  • Talk to Me: Proven Methods to Counsel You Patients on ER/LA Opioids and Achieve Positive Outcomes
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About ER/LA-Opioids as a Drug Class
  • Getting the Most Clinical Insights from Specific ER/LA Product Information Sources

American Academy of Family Physicians programs:

There are several CME programs, requiring membership and log-in to the website:

  • Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, 2 Credits
  • Read a concise, evidence-based update on the latest research and recommendations.
  • Appropriate and Effective Pain Management – Overcoming the Barriers, 1 Credit
  • Learn to overcome physician-identified barriers of treating patients living with chronic pain in this free webcast.
  • Chronic Pain: Management and Safe Treatment, 1 Credit
  • Address physician-identified barriers of using opioid therapy to treat chronic pain in this free webcast.
  • ER/LA Opioid REMS: Achieving Safe Use While Improving Patient Care, 5 Credits
  • Enhance your knowledge of how to monitor and modify the use of ER/LA opioid analgesics with your patients.

Other programs:

Please see for a listing of the programs compliant with the ER/LA Opioid Analgesic REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) education requirements issued by the US Food & Drug Administration.

Defining the Scope of Prescription Drug Abuse an Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network training

Provider FAQs

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as follows: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.” Read Full Article Here

When other reasonable options have failed to provide adequate analgesia and an appropriate risk assessment has been performed.

Full history of addiction, substance abuse and a screening questionnaire, such as the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain-Revised (SOAPP-R) – See Provider Toolkit
Physical therapy, diagnostic imaging, diagnostic injections, neuropathic pain medications (if neuropathic pain exists), anti-inflammatory medications, acetaminophen. Consider a formal neuropsychological evaluation for complex cases.
  • Controlled substance agreement should be reviewed and signed
  • Random Pill Counts and Random Urine Drug Testing
  • Review of the Prescription Drug Registry
When there is inadequate evidence to demonstrate compliance or improvement in functional abilities and/or quality of life;
The risks outweigh the benefits;
And/or a violation of the controlled substance agreement.