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No Directives for controlled substances

I am an RPN in an acute setting. I think that a medical directive for narcotic use for patients with chronic pain would be helpful. Is this appropriate?

No. Orders for controlled substances must be client specific. The prescription and administration of controlled substances is subject to the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The law defines a prescription as “an authorization given by a practitioner that a stated amount of the narcotic be dispensed for the person named in the prescription.” Therefore, a medical directive for a group of clients does not fulfill government requirements.

Page last reviewed July 20, 2015