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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation have been leaders in the effort to reduce prescription drug misuse in Georgia for a number of years.

One of the MAG Foundation’s marquee programs is the ‘Think About It’ initiative to reduce prescription drug misuse. Since 2012, the MAG Foundation has…

– Funded 20 prescription drug disposal boxes, which enable Georgians to dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs in a safe and secure manner.

– Distributed more than one million educational leaflets at pharmacies, hospitals and medical practices that encourage Georgians to 1) only take their medicine as prescribed and 2) not share their medicine and 3) store their medicine in a safe and secure place and 4) properly dispose of any unused medicine.

– Given opioid misuse prevention presentations at more than 100 town halls and 20 physician events.

– Established social media and/or other educational campaigns on 10 college campuses as part of its ‘Higher Education TAKE-BACK Initiative.’

– Formed an advisory committee that includes the Georgia Dental Association, the Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine, the Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, the Georgia Pharmacy Association, and the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University to raise awareness regarding 1) Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) registration and use and 2) the state’s controlled substances continuing medical education (CME) requirement and 3) good prescribing practices.

– Managed ‘Project DAN’ (Deaths Avoided by Naloxone). In addition to raising awareness, this effort provided first responders in 53 counties in Georgia with more than 5,000 doses of naloxone, which can be used to save patients who are suffering from a drug overdose. ‘Project DAN’ has been credited with saving more than 70 lives in Georgia.

MAG has addressed opioid misuse on its ‘Top Docs’ program on 11 occasions.

MAG supports the American Medical Association’s (AMA) efforts to “call on physicians to re-examine their prescribing practices to help reverse the [opioid misuse] epidemic.”

While acknowledging that “much more work remains to reverse the nation’s [opioid misuse] epidemic,” AMA’s ‘Opioid Task Force Progress Report’ for 2019 found that…

Physicians and other health care professionals in the U.S. increased their PDMP use by 39 percent between 2018 and 2019.

The number of physician and other health care professional PDMP “queries” in Georgia rose to 9.4 million in 2019, a 68 percent increase from 2017.

The number of physicians and other health care professionals who have registered with a state PDMP in the U.S. has risen to nearly 2 million.

The number of physicians and other health care professionals who have registered with Georgia’s PDMP has seen a significant increase in the last several years – with a 71 percent increase from 2016 to 2019 with 62,000 registered physicians.

The number of retail prescriptions that are being filled for “all opioid analgesics” in Georgia has dropped from about 8.6 million in 2013 to some 6.7 million in 2018 – a 22.4 percent decrease. AMA also recorded an 11 percent decline in this metric between 2017 and 2018, dropping from 7.5 million to 6.7 million.

AMA ‘2019 Opioid Task Force Progress Report’

AMA National Roadmap on State-Level Efforts to End the Opioid Epidemic

AMA National PDMP Use/Registration Summary

AMA ‘State & National Totals of Retail Filled Prescriptions: All Opioid Analgesics, 2013-2018’ Summary

Go to www.mag.org/tai or contact Lori Cassity Murphy at lmurphy@mag.org or 678.303.9282 for details on the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ initiative.

MAG Foundation ‘Think About It’ Initiative Advisory Committee

Alliant Quality
– Association of Village Pride (AVPRIDE)
– Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Pain Management Division)
– Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Atlanta Region
Decatur Prevention Initiative
Drug Free Coweta
– Emory Pain Division
– Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis (District 2)
Georgia Dental Association
– Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD)
Georgia Department of Public Health
Georgia Hospital Association
Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society
Georgia Pharmacy Association
Georgia Prevention Project
Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine
Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physician
Georgia Substance Abuse Research Alliance (SARA)
Georgia Chapter of the American College of Physicians
– Health Insurers (e.g., Anthem, UnitedHealthcare)
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Partnership for Drug Free Hall
Richmond County Medical Society
– Southeast Permanente Medical Group
WellCare
WellStar Health System

Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Every Georgia prescriber who has a DEA registration number is now required to register with the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Georgia prescribers must register with the state’s PDMP within 30 days of obtaining a DEA license.

Register with Georgia PDMP

MAG Georgia PDMP, naloxone, and medical amnesty fact sheet

Physicians can click here for free and other resources that fulfill GCMB’s controlled substances prescribing CME requirement.

Click here for the Georgia Department of Public Health PDMP web page.

MAG members can contact Bethany Sherrer at bsherrer@mag.org or 678.303.9273 with questions related to the Georgia PDMP.

Continuing Medical Education (fulfills GCMB requirement)

Free The Doctors Company ‘Safe & Effective Opioid Rx’ CME
GCMB Controlled Substance Prescribing CME Requirement FAQ
AMA Education Hub: Opioid and Pain Management: Guidelines, Research and Treatments

Resources

AMA

AMA ‘End the [opioid misuse] Epidemic’ Web Page
AMA report finds U.S. opioid prescribing down by 37% since 2014 – and 27% in Georgia – but overdose numbers troubling
AMA Opioid Task Force Recommendations for Physicians
AMA Naloxone Co-Prescribing Overview
AAHPM PDMP Guidelines
AMA urges CDC to make significant revisions to opioid prescribing guideline
AMA Issue brief: Reports of increases in opioid-related overdose and other concerns during COVID pandemic
An op-ed from AMA Immediate Past President and Chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force, Patrice Harris, M.D., M.A.

Georgia DPH

DPH Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Monthly Reports
Georgia Standing Order for Naloxone Rx
The Georgia Multi-Stakeholder Opioid and Substance Use Response Plan

Naloxone

Drug Free Hall ‘Three steps to save a life’ (opioid OD rescue demo)
‘FDA recommends health care professionals discuss naloxone with all patients when prescribing opioid pain relievers or medicines to treat opioid use disorder’

COVID-19

COVID-19 policy recommendations for OUD, pain, harm reduction
Experts discuss COVID-19’s impact on the opioid epidemic
The Escalation of the Opioid Epidemic Due to COVID-19 and Resulting Lessons About Treatment Alternatives

Other resources

Georgia Opioid prescribers’ Info/Resources Flyer
Georgia Patients’ Rx Medicine Info/FAQ Summary (printable)
Georgia Rx Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative
MAG/GSIPP/GSAM ‘Six-Point Opioid Prescribing Platform’
SAMHSA Opioid Prevention Overdose Toolkit
State Opioid Response (SOR)
U.S. Surgeon General ‘Facing Addiction in America’ Website
Bryan County Health Department
Cherokee County Health Department
Coweta County Board of Health
Dekalb County Board of Health
Richmond County Health Department
[Physicians] response to the CDC’s request for comment on management of acute and chronic pain

Patient Screening Tools

CRAFFT Patient Interview Screening Tool (for opioid misuse)
NIDA Drug Use Screening Tool (NMASSIST)

Patient/Prescriber Agreements

Opioid Patient Prescriber Agreement (PPA)
WellStar Controlled Substance Agreement

News

CDC reports overall decline in opioid-involved drug overdose deaths – but more deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone