Oregon's strategy to confront prescription opioid misuse: A case study

Dennis McCarty, Rob Bovett, Thomas Burns, Judy Cushing, Mary Ellen Glynn, Senator Jeff Kruse, Lisa M. Millet, Jim Shames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Governor John Kitzhaber appointed a Prescription Drug Taskforce to address Oregon's opioid epidemic. This case study reviews the Taskforce's participation in the National Governors Association State Policy Academy on Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse. To address the challenge of the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids, the Taskforce developed a strategy for practice change, community education and enhanced access to safe opioid disposal using stakeholder meetings, consensus development, and five action steps: (1) fewer pills in circulation, (2) educate prescribers and the public on the risks of opioid use, (3) foster safe disposal of unused medication, (4) provide treatment for opioid dependence, and (5) continued leadership from the Governor, health plans and health professionals. Although the story is ongoing, there are lessons for leadership in other states and for public health and medical practitioners throughout the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Prescriber education
  • Prescription drug monitoring program
  • Prescription opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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