In an effort to combat the opioid epidemic spreading throughout the state, Governor Rick Scott has decided to seek time limits on opioid prescriptions. The new requirements would place a three-day limit on prescription opioids, unless there could be strict conditions for week-long supplies.
The requirements would also require health care professionals who give out opiates to participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. This is a program with a statewide database that tracks the number of controlled substance prescriptions issued in the state.
In addition to these changes, the governor would like to see additional reforms that would fight back against unlicensed pain clinics. He would like to see continuing education courses about responsible prescribing as well.
Presently, the governor aims to request $50 million for the 2018-19 budget. The money would go toward additional substance abuse treatment, recovery and counseling services and be used to help fund the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council.
The news was announced in Bradenton, where there have been 15 overdoses linked to opioid use in 2017 alone. Across the city, there have been 221 overdoses reported of various types. It is hoped that having more stringent requirements for prescriptions may help reduce access to the drugs that are most often used by those who have been overdosing, but there are concerns. Those who need opioid medications for chronic pain could get caught in the mix, making it harder for them to get what they need.
Opioids aren’t necessarily bad. They’re needed in some cases. If you’re accused of possessing them illegally, you have a right to defend yourself.