Nevada Enacts Comprehensive Policies and Practices to Eliminate Opioid Overdoses

Carson City, NV - April 04, 2018

In a report released this week, the National Safety Council reports that Nevada has enacted comprehensive policies and practices to eliminate opioid overdoses and prevent prescription drug abuse. The publication titled Prescription Nation, provides state rankings based on the implementation of six key actions identified as model policy and practice in addressing the opioid epidemic. Of all 50 states reviewed in the report, only Nevada and New Mexico have taken all six key actions:

  1. Mandating prescriber education 
  2. Implementing opioid prescribing guidelines 
  3. Integrating Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs into clinical settings 
  4. Improving data collection and sharing 
  5. Treating opioid overdose 
  6. Increasing availability of opioid use disorder treatment

Under the leadership of Governor Brian Sandoval, Nevada enacted comprehensive legislation in the 2015 and 2017 Legislative sessions that enabled Nevada to achieve the key actions. In 2015, SB459 required prescribers to enroll in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and made naloxone available to individuals without a prescription. The newly implemented Controlled Substance Abuse Prevention Act established mandated prescriber education, developed opioid prescribing guidelines, required use of the PDMP prior to and during a course of treatment using opioids, and required data reporting on overdoses. The expansion of Medicaid, also established during Governor Sandoval’s tenure, provides access to naloxone and FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder as well as addiction treatment and recovery services to individuals.

“I am incredibly proud of the progress we have – and are – making in fighting the opioid epidemic in Nevada, but we are not done yet,” Governor Brian Sandoval said. “As a result of two pieces of significant legislation we passed in 2015 and 2017, Nevada is better prepared to respond to the continued prevalence of this horrific epidemic. My Opioid State Action Accountability Task Force has also done tremendous work on this issue and is continuing to do so. I am looking forward to hearing another report from the Task Force later this month.”

This week national and state leaders, policy makers, researchers, and providers are convening at the National Rx and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss solutions to the opioid epidemic and share what is working for prevention and treatment.

In 2016, the US average was 66.5 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, in Nevada the average was 87.5 prescriptions per 100 people.

Some of the key tenets of the Controlled Substance Abuse Prevention Act legislation:

  • Prioritize patient safety and responsibility
  • Preserve clinical decision-making
  • Promote the patient-prescriber relationship
  • Reduce the amount of inappropriate prescribing
  • Prevent addiction to prescription drugs through monitoring and mitigating risk
  • Enhance the quality of care for patients with acute and chronic pain
  • Avoid the legislation of the practice of medicine by establishing a standard of care

Details on the legislation as well as prescriber and patient education materials can be found at

“The Governor’s Office, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), community coalitions, occupational licensing boards, medical associations, treatment providers, and prescribers have all worked together to bring these key actions to Nevada,” Stephanie Woodard, Psy.D, DHHS Senior Advisor on Behavioral Health State of Nevada, Division of Public and Behavioral Health Bureau of Behavioral Health, Prevention, and Wellness said. “While there is still work to be done, this is evidence that Nevada has made addressing the opioid epidemic a public health priority. We remain committed to seeking solutions to ensure all Nevadans have access to prevention, treatment, and recovery solutions.”

Visit for the full report.

About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

For more information about opioid overdose and prevention, please visit
For more information on AB 474, the Controlled Substance Abuse Prevention Act, please visit
For more information about the National Rx and Heroin Summit, please visit
For more information about the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, go to:


Martha Framsted
public information officer