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What Is Ohio’s “Smart Rx” Program?

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau, MSCP, LPCI, NCC

April 5, 2019

In response to the prescription drug epidemic, Ohio politicians, residents, and medical professionals have teamed up to bring a number of solutions to the table. The most recent, implemented in March 2015, is the state’s Smart Medicine and Responsible Treatment program, or Smart Rx.

Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and the State of Ohio has experienced some of the worst. According to the Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio ranked 12th on the list of states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2013, and the majority of those fatalities stemmed from prescribed painkillers.

Putting Health Care Professionals On The Front Line

The central feature of the Smart Rx program is its focus on giving medical care providers the tools they need to be the front line in the battle against prescription drug abuse. The program does this in a number of ways, but its main tool is its online learning interface, to which all approved physicians and prescribers in the state have access.

Navigating A Maze Of New Laws And Regulations

Although they have good intentions, legislators have responded to the prescription drug abuse epidemic with a mess of new laws and regulations that has left many doctors and prescribers confused and looking for guidance.

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The Smart Rx program seeks to resolve this issue by keeping medical professionals up to date with the latest news in prescription drug control policy, and delivers the information in accessible language with as little legal jargon as possible.

Alternative Pain Treatment Methods

The second approach that the Smart Rx programs takes to educating health care professionals is in helping them find ways to reduce the amount of pills prescribed, or to avoid prescribing them altogether.

To this end, the program offers links to videos featuring interviews with leading physicians and prescribers in the state, who share the success they’ve had with certain non-pill alternatives to pain management. The hope is that physicians who have tended to over prescribe in the past will learn from their colleagues, finding ways to improve their practice and avoid creating newly addicted patients in the future.

What Does This Mean For Patients?

Too often, the blame for a prescription drug addiction gets placed solely on the shoulders of the patient. Programs like Smart Rx are a refreshing step in a new, more enlightened direction. They imply that best way to address the problem of addiction is not simply to treat the patient after the fact, but to change the whole mentality of prescribers in the first place. For the patient, this means new tools and interventions are available even at the first sign of addiction taking hold.

New Resources For Recovery

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse and would like to take full advantage of the resources offered by Smart Rx or a similar program, we can help. Contact us today at, and we’ll get you started.

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