blue bulletin from bcidaho

Opioid safety

How opioids can be prescribed safely

Opioid drugs are highly addictive, which is why there are now strict policies for when and how doctors can prescribe them. Blue Cross of Idaho is doing what we can to help lower the risk of opioid addiction by putting safety precautions into place to make sure that members are prescribed the right kind of opioid care that they need. Our goal is to protect members and ensure these drugs are used safely.

opioid safetyHow opioids are safely prescribed

Blue Cross of Idaho follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) rules for using opioids to treat chronic pain. Primary care providers (PCP) have a series of steps they need to take when prescribing opioid drugs - especially for patients who haven't taken them before.

Here are a few of the steps PCPs follow before prescribing opioids:

  1. Deciding when to start treatment with opioids
  2. Limiting the amount of days an opioid is prescribed
  3. Prescribing the right strength of opioids
  4. Using step therapy by requiring non-opioids to be tried before prescribing an opioid

In addition to this process, Blue Cross of Idaho has removed some of the financial barriers to accessing naloxone, a drug created to help reverse an opioid overdose.

Talk to your PCP on how you can take opioids safely

How can you protect yourself? Ask your PCP questions about opioid treatment to find out what treatment is right for you.

Try asking these questions:

  • Do I need to take this medication? Is it right for me?
  • How long should I take this medication?

Other things to discuss with your PCP:

  • How to lower the risks of potential side effects
  • If you have a history of addiction
  • What to do with unused opioid medicine

These questions and topics can help prepare you for opioid care if it is prescribed to you.

More resources with Sharecare

You can find more information about opioid safety and addiction recovery on Sharecare. Blue Cross of Idaho members have access to Sharecare, an app to help you eat better, lower your stress levels and be more active! To get the app, visit to create your Sharecare account, download the app and take the RealAge® Test. Do not download the Sharecare app directly from the App Store or Google Play.

Disclaimer: This wellness program is administered by Sharecare, Inc., an independent company that provides health improvement management services to Blue Cross of Idaho members. Sharecare, Inc., does not provide Blue Cross of Idaho products or services and is solely responsible for the health improvement management services it provides.

Posted: August 31, 2022