Prescribing Controlled Substances Safely

Controlled substances encompass a wide variety of medications from pain relievers to diet medications. An understanding of these drugs will help the Advanced Nurse Practitioner more safely treat patients in both the hospital and outpatient settings. In this presentation, controlled substances and their schedules will be described. Controlled substances including opiates, sedatives, stimulants, antidiarrheals, weight loss drugs, and anabolic hormones will be discussed with respect to their use, prescribing rules, and safety. Specific safety issues such as State and Federal laws regulating prescribing, risk evaluation mitigation strategies, prescription drug monitoring programs and methods to decrease diversion will be described. Methods for safe prescribing of controlled substances across the schedules will be a focus of this presentation. 

Learning Objectives—Prescribing Controlled Substances Safely
  • To identify general precautions associated with prescribing controlled substances.
  • To understand why agents are classified in each of the CS schedules, and how each schedule has rules affecting prescribing.
  • To acknowledge safe methods for prescribing these agents and be able to apply them in the practice setting for CS across the schedules.