69.50.315  <<  69.50.317 >>   69.50.320

Opioid drugsCommunication with patient.

(1) Any practitioner who writes the first prescription for an opioid during the course of treatment to any patient must, under professional rules, discuss the following with the patient:
(a) The risks of opioids, including risk of dependence and overdose;
(b) Pain management alternatives to opioids, including nonopioid pharmacological treatments, and nonpharmacological treatments available to the patient, at the discretion of the practitioner and based on the medical condition of the patient; and
(c) A written copy of the warning language provided by the department under RCW 43.70.765.
(2) If the patient is under eighteen years old or is not competent, the discussion required by subsection (1) of this section must include the patient's parent, guardian, or the person identified in RCW 7.70.065, unless otherwise provided by law.
(3) The practitioner shall document completion of the requirements in subsection (1) of this section in the patient's health care record.
(4) To fulfill the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, a practitioner may designate any individual who holds a credential issued by a disciplining authority under RCW 18.130.040 to conduct the discussion.
(5) Violation of this section constitutes unprofessional conduct under chapter 18.130 RCW.
(6) This section does not apply to:
(a) Opioid prescriptions issued for the treatment of pain associated with terminal cancer or other terminal diseases, or for palliative, hospice, or other end-of-life care of where the practitioner determines the health, well-being, or care of the patient would be compromised by the requirements of this section and documents such basis for the determination in the patient's health care record; or
(b) Administration of an opioid in an inpatient or outpatient treatment setting.
(7) This section does not apply to practitioners licensed under chapter 18.92 RCW.
(8) The department shall review this section by March 31, 2026, and report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on whether this section should be retained, repealed, or amended.

NOTES:

Declaration2019 c 314: See note following RCW 18.22.810.
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