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Ohio Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

Since many opioid addicts were first exposed to these drugs through prescriptions for legitimate pain issues, and later become dependent or addicted to the powerful substances, health care providers and organizations can play a critical role for their patients by adopting consensus-based opioid prescribing guidelines. 

The Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team's (GCOAT) Professional Education Workgroup (PEW) was established in 2011 to address the continuing epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and overdose death in Ohio. Under the leadership of Departments of Health and Aging, the PEW developed three sets of prescribing guidelines.  Multiple state health care organizations and interested professionals have devoted their time and expertise to the development of these resources to assist prescribers in making safe choices for their patients. 

To view the latest GCOAT updates, visit   

Please select the links below to learn more about Ohio's opioid prescribing guidelines.

Prescribing Guidelines

Acute pain management

The Ohio Guideline for the Management of Acute Pain Outside of Emergency Departments provides a general approach in the outpatient management of acute pain.


Chronic, non-terminal pain


The Ohio Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for the Treatment of Chronic, Non-Terminal Pain uses 80 mg morphine equivalency dosing (MED) as a “trigger threshold,” as the odds of an overdose are higher above that dose.


Emergency care settings


The Ohio Emergency and Acute Care Facility Opioids and Other Controlled Substances Prescribing Guidelines offer clinical guidance for the acute care environment where there is no established patient-doctor relationship.



Page Updated: 12/13/2017