PDAPS | Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System

State Laws Limiting Prescriptions for Opioid Analgesics

Focus Explore

To mitigate morbidity and mortality associated with prescription opioids, most states have implemented limits on opioid analgesic prescribing. Approaches vary, but these limits generally restrict the duration of an opioid prescriptions by the number of days supplied. Some states additionally restrict the daily dosage or total dosage allowed in opioid prescriptions.

This dataset presents state-level statutes and regulations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in effect between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2019.

These statutes and regulations include those that regulate opioid prescriptions generally, restrict initial prescriptions for patients new to opioids, restrict prescriptions for patients with acute pain, and specifically restrict initial prescriptions written for acute pain. The dataset captures which aspect of opioid prescribing is restricted and to what degree. Additionally, the dataset captures whether the state limits prescriptions for minors, whether limits vary by setting, prescriber type, or U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule, whether states specify exceptions to the limits, and whether states impose penalties for non-compliance. The dataset does not capture limits that restrict direct dispensing of opioids to patients, limits that specifically restricted opioid prescriptions for chronic or subacute pain, limits only applicable to refills of opioid analgesic prescriptions, or limits on opioid prescriptions for cough.

This dataset was created in collaboration with subject matter expert Dr. Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, who conceptualized this project. To contact Dr. Chua, please e-mail chuak@med.umich.edu.

Policy Questions