Overdose Prevention

In 2015, Governor Larry Hogan issued two executives orders, establishing the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force (Executive Order 01.01.2015.12) and a separate Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (Executive Order 01.01.2015.13) to address the state’s growing heroin and opioid crisis.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has implemented several initiatives related to overdose prevention.

Because the Board is similarly concerned about the rise in the number of drug overdose deaths, the growing public health threat, and the potential role of prescribers, it mandated that physician and physician assitant licensees, per renewal cycle, complete one continuing medical education (credit hour) dedicated to opioid prescribing.


Please Note: The Board will accept any one credit of continuing medical education ("CME") related to opioid prescribing (pain management, substance abuse, et cetera). The one credit must be earned by all physician and physician assistant licensees, regardless of specialty, prescribing authority, workplace setting, or location in or out of state.

For physicians with licenses expiring on September 30, 2016, the credit must be earned in the current renewal cycle. For physician assistants with licenses expiring in 2017, the credit must be earned during the current renewal cycle.

Licensees are not required to send to the Board documentation of completion of the one credit. The Board audits a random sampling of those renewing, and only at the time of an audit would an individual licensee need to submit CME certificates.

As a resource, the Board has compiled a chart of courses (see the link below) for its physician and physician assistant licensees. This list is not exhaustive. Licensees are not required to complete a course that appears on this list; they may select a course offered through another source, as long as the course is related to opioid prescribing.

In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") released guidelines that contain recommendations for primary care clinicians who are prescribing opioids for chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.


Page updated 4/26/2016