WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) welcomed today’s release of new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain will help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients.

In November 2015, Senator Capito joined with a bipartisan group of Senators on a letter to CDC Director Thomas Frieden in support of CDC’s draft opioid prescribing guidelines for chronic pain patients.

“West Virginians know the harmful effects of prescription drug abuse with many stories starting with addiction to painkillers. Having clear rules of the road to guide prescribing practices will help physicians better understand the risks associated with prescription opioids and determine the best treatment for chronic pain management,” said Senator Capito. “Now that the CDC has completed its work on the guidelines for chronic pain, the agency should quickly turn its attention to developing guidelines for acute pain.”

Last month, Senators Capito and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation requiring CDC to issue guidelines for prescribing opioids for acute pain, such as pain following a broken bone, wisdom tooth extraction or other surgeries. Many individuals also become addicted to opioids after taking prescriptions for acute pain, and creating guidelines for acute pain could limit opioid prescriptions and reduce addiction.