MedWatch - The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

FDA identifies harm reported from sudden discontinuation of opioid pain medicines and requires label changes 
to guide prescribers on gradual, individualized tapering

TOPIC: Opioid Pain Medicines: Drug Safety Communication - Harm to Patient Reported From Sudden Discontinuation of Opioid Pain Medicine
AUDIENCE: Patient, Health Professional, Pain Management, Pharmacy
ISSUE: FDA has received reports of serious harm in patients who are physically dependent on opioid pain medicines suddenly having these medicines discontinued or the dose rapidly decreased. These include serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, psychological distress, and suicide.

Rapid discontinuation can result in uncontrolled pain or withdrawal symptoms. In turn, these symptoms can lead patients to seek other sources of opioid pain medicines, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.

Read FDA Recommendations

Opioid Alert

On December 27, 2017, the Lieutenant Governor signed into law several new requirements aimed at combating the opioid epidemic. The MOA is part of a coalition that is working with the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to provide input from healthcare professionals in regards to the laws, regulations and systems used by prescribers.

For MOA members, a page has been created with an overview, a link to a summary (PDF) and a link to a survey designed to get feedback from the MOA membership.

Opioid Alert page (MOA login page)
Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) - User Support Manual

 5 Strategic Pillars to Combat opioid abuse

The Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA) has developed a strategy for combating the opioid crisis facing Michigan. The MOA's "5 Strategic Pillars" were developed based on recommendations from the MOA Presidential Task Force on Safe Opioid Use, the Michigan Governor's Task Force and The Office of the White House.

On this page, you will find news and info about efforts from the MOA and around Michigan to lessen the burden of the opioid epidemic, a full cadre of resources and useful links for both providers and patients and a section on the MOA Presidential Task Force on Safe Opioid Use.

Goal - reduce opioid-related deaths and morbidity, while we treat patients with pain and/or addiction with compassion and expertise.
Click here for the 5 Strategic Pillars

News Items: 
New York Times article: "Short Answers to Hard Questions About the Opioid Crisis" (Aug. 3, 2017) 

Online Seminar to help physicians navigate new Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS):
A great YouTube video on the MAPS launch detailing the improvements and the steps being taken to better track prescriptions and open communications between MDHHS and prescribers.


MOA hosts joint press conference on opioids

The Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA) and the Michigan Association of Health Plans (MAHP) hosted a press conference addressing issues and resources related to the opioid crisis in Michigan. Joining the MOA and MAHP were a number of other organizations concerned with the resources designed to combat the opioid crisis, with a focus on pregnant women and infants diagnosed with Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). New borns with NAS suffer from increased irritability, hypertonia, tremors, feeding intolerance, seizures and respiratory distress. 

“The opioid epidemic is tearing families apart with a heartbreaking impact on the most innocent victims, who are children,” said Kris Nicholoff, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Osteopathic Association, one of the health organizations working to address the opioid epidemic in Michigan. “We know it is going take the efforts of the entire health care community to reduce the casualties. Now is not the time to scale back on resources designed to help those who can’t help themselves.” 

The event featured a series of speakers from organizations who have joined in a collaborative effort to raise public awareness and alert legislators to the urgency of maintaining programs that are making a difference in treating addiction and preventing overdose deaths in our communities.

Link: Opioid Press Release from the Press Conference June 22, 2017

CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

The Center for Disease Control has released guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. The guidelines carve out an exception for patients receiving cancer treatment or end-of-life care. When doctors determine that such drugs are necessary in other situations, the CDC advises doctors prescribe the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time. 

Click HERE for guidelines. 


There are many online resources available to learn more about the opioids issue in Michigan. The MOA has compiled some web links for you.

Safe Drug Disposal Information for Michigan

Providers' Clinical Support System For Opioid Therapies

Balancing Pain Management and Prescription Opioid Abuse

Opioid painkiller prescribing varies widely among states

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the US

Gov. Rick Snyder forms task force to address prescription drug and opioid problems in Michigan

MAPS Report 2014- (PDF)

America's Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Opioid and Heroin Abuse 

Incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome — 28 States

In 2014, the Michigan Osteopathic Association developed an Ad Hoc committee to investigate the causes of the alarming rates of opioid abuse in Michigan. The committee soon transformed into the MOA Task Force on Safe Opioid Use. The Task Force was invited to have a member join Governor Rick Snyder's Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force to develop recommendations on preventing the causes and addressing the addiction.

The MOA Task Force continues to work on educating members, legislators, law enforcement and the public on the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction. This page offers resources and events to aid in that education.

Thank you to all the attendees of the MOA Luncheon & Town Hall Meeting, Saturday, May 14. The event offered a distinguished panel of experts from the medical, legislative and law enforcement sectors for a town hall-style discussion. The event was moderated by Tim Skubick, Senior Capitol Correspondent and host of WKAR's "Off the Record," as an overflow crowd asked questions and heard from the various points of view. The event began with a message from Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley, Chair of the Governor's Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force. 

View the YouTube video of the Lt. Gov. Brian Calley's message to the MOA Town Hall: Click HERE

Handouts from the Town Hall
Take Away One Page