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Colorado Clinic Policies
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Colorado Clinic Policies

Opioid Prescription Policy

Comprehensive pain management often entails the use of prescription pain medications. Opioid pain medications, for example hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine, are commonly prescribed for chronic pain. However, recent evidence does not support their long-term use in the vast majority of patients because they have not been shown to significantly improve either pain or function and they carry substantial risks. In addition, in light of America’s growing opioid epidemic and laws passed intended to address the issue, there have been changes in State and Federal guidelines on how these medications should be prescribed to patients for the treatment of chronic pain. At Colorado Clinic, we try to minimize use of opioid medications as much as possible maximize patient safety and to remain compliant with current treatment guidelines and applicable laws.

What does this mean for you as a patient?

If you are a new patient to the Clinic taking opioid medications at doses higher than those that are currently recommended by State and Federal guidelines, you should expect that tapering of your opioid medications will be an important part of your treatment plan. The ultimate goal for tapering will be determined for individual patients in consultation with their physician.

Pain Management & Compliance

Regulatory updates have focused on ensuring patient safety when it comes to prescription opioids, and our team at Colorado Clinic is committed to practicing based upon the best available evidence while complying with the Federal and State guidelines. While it is important for patients to understand that these guidelines may require lowering of prescriptions, we are still committed to helping them effectively manage pain through the most appropriate and safest means possible. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

Marijuana Usage

The State of Colorado has passed legislation legalizing the use of marijuana beyond that of the traditionally recognized medical marijuana authorization. While we realize it is your right to choose to use marijuana, either medically or recreationally, as medical professionals, our license to prescribe controlled substances, including opioid medications when indicated, is regulated at the federal level, which still views marijuana as illegal to use, either recreationally or medically. Given that the United States government’s rules trump those of the State of Colorado , we have a zero tolerance policy with regards to using marijuana and opioid pain medications.

What does this mean for you as a patient?

This means as a patient you can not use marijuana in any form and receive opioid pain medications from the Colorado Clinic.

What if I have a Medical Marijuana card?

Unless you have a documented diagnosis of cancer and are actively being treated by an oncologist, you will not be prescribed opioid pain medications from any provider at Colorado Clinic. Those patients with documented evidence of cancer will be addressed on an individual basis.

Mixing Opioid Medications with Alcohol and/or Benzodiazepines

The risk of accidental overdose when using opioid medications is significantly increased by using certain other substances at the same time. Two examples are alcohol and benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine-like medications (for example, diazepam, lorazepam, zolpidem, etc.). We do not permit patients receiving opioid pain medications to use alcohol or benzodiazepines.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation with these policies designed to place your safety first and foremost in our care for your chronic pain.

If you have questions about our policies, we encourage you to contact us today.