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 forms of treatment for patients presenting with acute or chronic pain.
  2. Use the toolkits 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.
  5. Know the medications used for the treatment of addiction and withdrawal according to DEA regulations and know the disease model of OUD and the importance of identifying and treating it in office, ER and inpatient settings.
  6. Implement the use of Medication Assisted Treatment as the standard of care for opioid use disorder, the medications used in MAT and the role of counseling in MAT.
  7. Define harm reduction and outcome directed treatment and the concept levels of care of MAT.

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

House Bill 333, the Help Save Lives from Overdose Act was passed by the Montana Legislature in 2017.  This bill authorized increased naloxone access by requiring Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to provide a state-wide standing order for pharmacies to dispense naloxone prescriptions.

Learn More

What’s available?

Naloxone is available as an auto injector (Evzio), nasal inhaler (Narcan Nasal) and naloxone nasal spray atomizer kit.

Who should receive naloxone?

Theoretically anybody prescribed an opioid could receive naloxone rescue medication.  Those at risk of opioid overdose should receive naloxone including:

  • patients with poor or compromising medical condition such as
    • respiratory illness/infection, COPD, asthma, smoking, sleep apnea
    • renal dysfunction, hepatic impairment, cardiac illness or HIV/AIDS
    • known alcohol use
  • patients who are also being prescribed sedatives or benzodiazepines
  • patients prescribed methadone or buprenorphine, especially during dose titration or taper
  • patients with concurrent antidepressant prescription
  • high dose opioid prescriptions defined as ≥50 MEDD

Others that should be considered are those patients

  • with a history of substance use disorders or a history of overdose
  • with loss of opioid tolerance including patients:
    • who have recently been incarcerated
    • who have been engaged in an opioid abstinence program.

What education should be provided?

MT DPHHS has developed an OPIODS Overdose Recognition and Response Guide.

Discussion should include:

  • What is naloxone: Opioid reversal medication which may cause withdrawal
  • Recognizing an overdose–when to use naloxone: no response, slow or no breathing, pale or clammy skin, blue lips, fingernails or skin, slow erratic pulse, snoring or choking noise
  • How to use naloxone: instructions per dosage form dispensed
  • Call “911”
  • When to give a second dose: If the person has not started breathing in 2-3 minutes.  Remind the patient that naloxone only lasts 30-90 minutes, so calling “911” and being prepared to give a second dose if the person stops breathing again is important
  • When to get a refill: if used, product is damaged, lost, or expired
  • Overdose prevention: use medications only as prescribed, avoid mixing with other drugs or alcohol, tolerance decreases quickly if a patient has not taken opioids for a while, physical conditions that increase risk of overdose

Who are generally not good candidates for naloxone rescue kits?

Hospice and palliative care patients may not be candidates for naloxone but should be evaluated on a case by case basis.

SAMHSA provides information and training materials for providers interested in developing a medication-assisted treatment program.

The American Medical Association offers a free CME:
A Primer on the Opioid Morbidity and Mortality Crisis: What Every Prescriber Should Know 

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has a free CME program:
Pathways to Safer Opioid Use

The Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management offer a robust curriculum:
Joint Pain Education Program (JPEP)