Guidelines for Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain


On November 13th, 2014 the Medical Board of California released a 90-page guide intended to help healthcare providers improve outcomes of patient care. According to the report, drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental deaths, exceeding deaths due to motor vehicle accidents. Naturopathic doctors in California can independently prescribe and administer all natural and synthetic hormones as well as epinephrine, vitamins, botanicals and other diluents, only when such substances are chemically identical to those for sale without a prescription. Naturopathic doctors can also prescribe Schedule III-V Controlled Substances as well as legend drugs with a supervision agreement in place.

The Medical Board’s guide provides recommendations for the general patient population as well as those groups at high risk for accidental overdose (e.g., those with depression). The guide includes definitions of pain types and details a variety of topics including: non-opioid options for pain management; patient consent; prescription monitoring; patient medical records; supervising health professionals and patient risk evaluations. Click the link below to access the full 90-page report. 

Medical Board of California - Guidelines for Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain