LEWISTON — More and more Maine doctors and hospitals are asking patients to sign a controlled-substances agreement that allows them to request blood or urine samples in an effort to fight the state’s prescription drug abuse problem.

Patients who don’t sign likely won’t get prescriptions, while those who fail tests face serious consequences, including scrutiny by law enforcement.

The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine and other medical groups in 2010 created a set of 14 terms they suggest medical professional use in the contract.

Gordon Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, tells the Sun Journal the contracts and drug-testing stipulation can help start potentially uncomfortable conversations between doctors and patients about addiction.

Maine has the highest per-capita rate of opiate addiction in the nation.