Opioids play a key role in alleviating pain and suffering for those with advanced illness and at the end of life. As the United States faces an opioid abuse epidemic, however, legislation regulating opioid prescription, disposal, and other aspects of its use is being passed in a number of states, in addition to federal regulation. Hospice and palliative care providers thus have to face potential policy changes that could inhibit patient access to opioids or further regulate hospices’ ability to prescribe and handle these important drugs. This toolkit is designed as a repository of relevant resources on various kinds of legislation and guidelines. It also contains a few state case studies which hospice and palliative care providers can use to help guide advocacy activities in their own states.
Key numbers and statistics about the scope of the epidemic.
Limits to prescribing opioids, rules on safe disposal of unused drugs, taxes on opioids.
Materials to download and customize.
Key messages regarding opioid use in hospice and palliative care.
A list of stakeholders.