Law Enforcement Trends Related to Opioid Prescription

January 27, 2021

“You are seeing enforcement [of opioid prescription laws] for both at the federal and state levels, as they are really trying to combat this issue,” says Anna M. Grizzle, an attorney with Nashville’s Bass, Berry & Sims. “The ways that they’re addressing it are numerous, and they may be pulling providers in different directions.”

Those include:

  • State legislators attempting to, or passing, legislation that attempts to curb opioid use as well as provide more guardrails around prescribing habits of providers.
  • Federal and state prosecutors pursuing criminal action against individuals in the supply chain related to opioid abuse.
  • Private and government payers conducting audits related to providers where they have concerns for prescribing habits.
  • Medical boards exercising oversight over physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses.


To date, because state and federal level actions have been fragmented and often lack strong coordination, physicians and healthcare system officials must understand the full picture that combines overall addiction-rise statistics with current and potential enforcement actions.

The goal is to empower them as they work to address the issue, and to begin thinking about educational resources that would address the approach they and their colleagues should take now and in the future. For instance, providers need to know how to respond to official inquiries, should those come along. Simply put, they should be able to go about their jobs not looking over their shoulder, but rather be proactive and collaborative with others who share their goal of quality patient care.

This Blog Post is an excerpt from the HealthStream Article, “Navigating the Unknowns of Opioid Regulation and Education: Regulatory and Enforcement Actions Around Opioid Addiction Heighten the Need for Awareness.”

Other sections of the article include:

  • Recent major legal actions involving unlawful opioid prescription
  • Two-way communication smooths oversight path forward
  • Renewed focus on training and compliance


Download the full article about Opioid Addiction, Enforcement, and Compliance Training.

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