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 50 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 Radio’ program on six 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 56 percent between 2017 and 2018.

The number of physician and other health care professional PDMP “queries” in Georgia rose from about 3 million in 2017 to nearly 6.6 million in 2018 – a 55 percent increase.

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 three-fold increase in the last several years - going from about 18,000 in 2016 to more than 41,000 in 2017 and more than 54,000 in 2018.

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. 

Click for AMA ‘2019 Opioid Task Force Progress Report’

Click for AMA National PDMP Use/Registration Summary

Click for 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
– 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 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. 

Click to register with Georgia PDMP

Click for MAG Georgia PDMP 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

UGA College of Pharmacy ‘Controlled Substance Education for Prescribers and Pharmacists’ CME/CEU

GCMB Controlled Substance Prescribing CME Requirement FAQ

Resources

AMA ‘End the [opioid misuse] Epidemic’ Web Page

AAHPM PDMP Guidelines

CDC Interactive Training Series (opioid prescribing)

CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines App

DEA National Rx Drug Take-Back Day/Drug Disposal Locations

DPH Drug Overdose Surveillance Unit (opioid OD data)

Drug Free Hall ‘Three steps to save a life’ (opioid OD rescue demo)

Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law

Georgia Opioid prescribers’ Info/Resources Flyer

Georgia Patients’ Rx Medicine Info/FAQ Summary (printable)

Georgia Rx Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative

Georgia Standing Order for Naloxone Rx

MAG/GSIPP/GSAM ‘Six-Point Opioid Prescribing Platform’

SAMHSA Opioid Prevention Overdose Toolkit

U.S. Surgeon General ‘Facing Addiction in America’ Website

AMA Naloxone Co-Prescribing Overview

Patient Screening Tools

CRAFFT Patient Interview Screening Tool (for opioid misuse)

Opioid Risk Tool (self-report screening tool)

Patient/Prescriber Agreements

WellStar Controlled Substance Agreement

News

'Lower opioid overdose deaths in Marietta’

FDA proposes tighter opioid rules that would make new drugs less addictive

CDC advises against misapplication of ‘Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain’

Opioid prescriptions [in Georgia] drop – credit prevention and treatment programs

'Top Docs Radio'

Georgia Rx Drug Disposal Sites