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Prescription Law Might be Good for Opioid Crisis, Bad for Doctors and Patients


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New law is aimed at ending the opioid crisis. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

New law is aimed at ending the opioid crisis. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The law that took effect July 1 limits prescriptions of opioids for acute pain to three days, although a seven day supply can be prescribed under certain conditions. It also requires doctors to attend a two-hour training and check with a state-wide patient drug registry before they write prescriptions. Florida Medical Association’s Jeff Scott says with more restrictions, some doctors’ offices might stop prescribing opioids completely.

“Physicians that only have a few patients that need a controlled substance, taking the time to register with the database and make sure they’re complying with the provisions of the law. And they’ll probably rely on other physicians to handle that.”

The law only applies to opioids prescribed for acute pain which is the normal and short-term side effect of medical procedures or illnesses. It does not include chronic pain or pain as a symptom of cancer, terminal conditions, palliative care, or a serious traumatic injury.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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