The report also encourages healthcare providers to:

  • Follow best practices for responsible pain medication prescribing to reduce opioid addiction, the strongest risk factor for heroin addiction.
  • Use prescription drug monitoring programs and ask patients about past or current drug and alcohol use prior to considering opioid treatment.
  • Prescribe the lowest effective dose and only the quantity needed for each patient.
  • Link patients with substance use disorders to effective substance abuse treatment services.
  • Support the use of FDA-approved MAT options (methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone) in patients addicted to prescription opioid painkillers or heroin.

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