NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (PRWEB)
August 07, 2017
Last year, drug overdoses claimed 1,404 lives in Kentucky—a record high—prompting state legislators to enact a new law that imposes a three-day limit on opioid prescriptions for acute pain.(1) House Bill (HB) 333 also addresses illicit opiates and opioids, with harsher penalties for heroin and fentanyl dealers. Novus Medical Detox Center, a leading Florida-based drug treatment facility, congratulates Kentucky lawmakers on this historic law, and calls for other states to pursue legislation to combat America’s opioid epidemic.
As of 2012, Kentucky ranked fourth nationwide in prescribing rates for opioid pain relievers;(2) and although prescribing rates declined by 11% between 2013 and 2015, doctors statewide still prescribed over 10.6 million controlled substances from June, 2015 to July, 2016.(1) In 2015, Kentucky’s age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths was 29.9 per 100,000, tying for third with Ohio and behind only West Virginia and New Hampshire at 41.5 and 34.3, respectively.(3)
Although other states have passed laws to restrict opioid prescribing—including Massachusetts, which enacted a seven-day limit in March, 2016—Kentucky’s HB 333 remains the tightest in the nation.(1) Doctors and hospitals did not actively oppose the law, only debating whether the limit should be three, five or seven days. Dr. Ryan Stanton of Central Baptist Hospital welcomed the move, noting that pain has been mistreated for years. “We have used opioids as the ‘easy button’ when there are better, less addictive options on most pain-related conditions,” he asserted.(1)
Bryn Wesch, CFO of Novus Medical Detox Center, is among those who have long advocated for stronger opioid regulations. “Millions of Americans have developed substance use disorders as a result of overprescribing. Limiting prescriptions to three days will not only help to prevent opioid dependency among patients, but it should also reduce the number of leftover pills that fall into others’ hands,” she said.
While Wesch believes that setting limits on prescription opioids is an important first step, she emphasizes that it’s equally critical to expand access and…