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Safe Opioid Guidelines For Children Announced At CHOP

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Representatives of Gov. Tom Wolf's administration were at Children's Hospital Friday afternoon to introduce safe opioid prescribing guidelines for children and adolescents.

Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania's acting secretary of health, says the opioid epidemic is the state's biggest health crisis.

"In 2016, there were over 4,600 deaths from overdoses in Pennsylvania," she said.

So, for the first time, a task force has come up with 10 prescribing guidelines for children.

Dr. Rachel Levine
Dr. Rachel Levine Credit CBSPhilly

"The first thing that we're doing is prevention, and there are a number of different prevention efforts, including prescribing guidelines," said Levine.

She says they've worked in conjunction with institutions of higher education.

"We have developed a set of core competencies for every graduating medical student about these issues," Levine said.

The key idea is to use the least powerful drug for the least amount of time, while preventing the patient from suffering as much as possible.

"And to limit any potential for dependency and addiction," said Levine.

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