Opioid Abuse Resource Center

The problem:
Opioid abuse and overdose is a growing epidemic. This crisis spans nearly every state in the U.S., but has hit Pennsylvania particularly hard. Nearly 2,500 deaths were reported in Pennsylvania as a result of drug overdoses in 2014, and more people die from drug overdoses than in car accidents.

The solution:A multi-pronged approach that includes physicians, patients, and health care organizations like the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) working collaboratively to address this increasing crisis.

PAMED, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has developed several resources to help Pennsylvania physicians combat the growing opioid abuse epidemic. You can find these resources below. Additional resources are in the works.


  • Addressing Pennsylvania’s Opioid Crisis: What the Health Care Team Needs to Know – This program is divided into four sessions and each session consists of four, 15-minute modules. The program covers a variety of tools and resources for prescribers and dispensers to better address opioid addiction with their patients.
    • Session 1: Opioid Prescibing Guidelines for Chronic, Non-Cancer Pain
    • Session 2: Naloxone
    • Session 3: The Warm Hand Off
    • Session 4: The Controlled Substance (ABC-MAP) Database (Available Winter
  • Six-part series on the appropriate use of long-acting and extended-release opioids

Voluntary Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

  • For the treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain (developed by PAMED and the state)
  • For treatment of pain in the emergency department (developed by PAMED and the Pennsylvania Chapter of Emergency Physicians)
  • For dental practice (developed by the state and the Pennsylvania Dental Association)
  • Dispensing guidelines for pharmacists (developed by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association)

Additional Resources

  • Fall issue of PAMED’s quarterly magazine Pennsylvania Physician
  • Prescription checklist to help you talk to your patients about pain management
  • More information on the law that created the statewide controlled substance database
  • PAMED’s prescription drug abuse webpage