Attorney General Tim Fox announced his support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 Draft Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Fox said prescription drug abuse is a problem in many states including Montana.

"It's a bi-partisan effort recognizing that we have a problem in America, with opioid abuse particularly," Fox said. "Certainly there are people who need those drugs and should get them. We want to make sure that we do everything we can to get them to the people that need them and make sure that they are not abused, and people that who don't need them and have not had them prescribed to them should not have them."

Fox said there are three recommendations within the new document that doctors and medical providers should consider when prescribing pain medication.

"The three areas are determining when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain, then opioid selection dosage, duration, follow-up and discontinuation, and assessing risk and addressing harms of opioid use," Fox said. "The guidelines recognize and that each patient-physician relationship is different and that physicians and patients need to talk about these issues, and take steps to make sure that opioids are not abused."

Fox said the CDC will review all comments before deciding whether or not to finalize the proposed guidelines.