Florida Governor Announces Plan to Fight Opioid Epidemic

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced his legislative agenda in hopes of fighting the nationwide opioid epidemic, including a three-day cap on pain prescriptions. Similarly, a task force by Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg is proposing a five-day cap on the first prescription written for non-chronic pain.

Scott and Aronberg are not the only ones proposing limits on opioid prescriptions. According to Stephen J. Ubl, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the organization has already endorsed a seven-day limit on opioid prescriptions.

“We are taking this step because we believe the worsening opioid epidemic demands additional solutions,” said Ubl. “Too often, individuals receive a 30-day supply of opioid medicines for minor treatments or short-term pain. Overprescribing and dispensing can lead to patients taking opioids longer than necessary or to excess pills falling into the wrong hands.”

Other proposals in Scott’s agenda include county participation in an upcoming needle-exchange program at the University of Miami, and revisions to the types of crimes that currently disqualify recovered addicts from working in treatment centers—while low-level drug crimes committed years earlier are a reason for disqualification, crimes such as money laundering and patient brokering are not.

There are also proposed revisions to sober home policy. Scott aims to clarify the circumstances in which an addict in treatment can be referred to or from a sober home, and implement a system in which addicts receive a housing voucher for certified sober homes. There should also be uniform safety and fire codes for all sober homes.

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