What do you do when you find a concerning pattern of behavior in your patient’s prescription history that leads to a diagnosis of substance use disorder?

Going Beyond the PMP: Connecting Patients to Resources

So, you’ve checked the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). What do you do when you find a concerning pattern of behavior in your patient’s prescription history that leads to a diagnosis of substance use disorder?

Facilitating an informed handoff to treatment resources is essential to securing better health outcomes. The decision to refuse or stop care, or to put your patient on a rapid taper of medications, may do more harm than good for your patient’s health.

After reviewing your patient’s prescription history in the PMP, confirm the accuracy of the results with your patient. If necessary, initiate a direct conversation about drug diversion or dependence. For example:

  • “I see that [summarize the Texas PMP results].”
  • “I have some concerns, and I’d like to ask you some more questions about what you have told me.”

Asking open-ended questions and using motivational interviewing techniques can help make this conversation feel productive and lay the groundwork for a more supportive handoff to treatment resources.

Connecting Patients to Resources

You can find evidence-based treatment programs for patients dealing with substance use through the Texas Health and Human Services Outreach, Screening, Assessment, and Referral (OSAR) service, available throughout the state’s 11 Local Mental Health and Behavioral Health Authorities.

Confidential help is available for your patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week via 2-1-1 Texas, or 877-541-7905. You also may refer your patient to appropriate treatment using federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration resources at findtreatment.gov.

To build confidence for this moment, educate yourself on local resources. Then, start by asking your patients, “What questions do you have about seeking treatment?” For at-risk patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you consider co-prescribing the overdose-reversing drug naloxone — should they ever need it.

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