Behavioral Health

Safe Prescriber Pledge

In 2018, Staten Island, with a population of approximately 500,000, was identified as the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in New York City. One specific area of concern during an analysis of potential causes was that the number of opioid prescriptions per capita, dosing, and duration on Staten Island far exceeded city and state norms.

An informed medical community is needed for safe prescribing. Staten Island PPS organized a committee to develop safe prescribing practices. They reviewed previous “Safe Prescriber Initiatives” and national guidelines. This committee was composed of addiction medicine, DDS, pain management, behavioral medicine, and primary care medicine professionals. A program was created to engage providers and in addition to education and resources, the physicians who met the standards were awarded “Safe Prescriber Status” and were given a certificate that they could place in their office and list on their website. The criteria included enrolling in Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), completion of a designated continuing medical education (CME) course on opioid safety, submission of office policy for controlled sub stances, and the use of Opioid informed patient consent forms.

The guidelines were divided into five sections:

  1. Prioritize non-opioid alternatives
  2. Screening for SUD (Substance Use Disorder) risk factors, screening for polypharmacy, and prescriber shopping
  3. Use of prescription guidelines and continuing education
  4. Safe storage and disposal
  5. Offering naloxone at the time of an overdose and MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) at waivered providers offices

Safe Prescribers on Staten Island


Decrease in Total Number of Prescriptions Filled on Staten Island