Chronic pain and opioid treatment guidelines for injured workers now in effect

August 18, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Workers' Compensation Patient Care Payor Issues and Reimbursement 

The California State Division of Workers’ Compensation’s (DWC) new guidelines on the treatment of chronic pain and opioid prescribing for injured workers are now in effect. The guidelines include best practices and universal precautions for safe and effective prescribing of opioids for pain due to a work-related injury.

According to DWC, the new guidelines encourage safer prescribing of opioid pain relievers with the primary goal of significantly reducing the rate of opioid-related adverse events and substance misuse and abuse.


Since 2014, the California Medical Association (CMA) has provided input to the DWC on the complicated issues related to prescription opioid misuse and overdose, based on CMA’s support for a well-balanced approach to opioid prescribing and treatment that considers the unique needs of individual patients. CMA has published two white papers for physicians on prescribing opioid medications; both are available in CMA's online resource library.


CMA’s Institute for Medical Quality also frequently hosts continuing medical education in pain management. To find out about available courses, click here.


For more information on safely and effectively prescribing controlled substances for pain, see CMA's safe prescribing resource center, available to members only.



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