Publication Date: 
Tuesday, April 11, 2023

To mitigate the risks associated with prescription opioid use, most states have implemented laws requiring clinicians to obtain informed consent prior to prescribing opioids in at least some circumstances. Informed consent is defined as a communication between a patient and clinician in which the patient agrees to a medical intervention after being informed of the risks, benefits, and alternatives.  

This dataset on our Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System ( presents the key features of state statutes and regulations related to informed consent for opioid prescribing in effect between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2019.  

The dataset details the topics that must be communicated to the patient to obtain informed consent — including the specific risks that must be discussed — as well as whether that communication must be documented in writing. The dataset also captures the types of clinicians who are subject to the laws, the substances that trigger informed consent requirements, the specific circumstances that require informed consent to be obtained, and the enforcement mechanisms for the laws. Because laws and regulations for adults and minors offer differ within states, the dataset contains separate sections for these two populations. 

This dataset was created in collaboration with subject matter expert Dr. Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, who conceptualized this project