There are many reasons for the opioid crisis, One of the main components to the crisis is the issue of easy access to the drugs in pill form. New laws aim to fight the easily availability of these drugs to prevent excess pills from being sold or abused. The problem is maintaining a balance where people who have a legitimate need for the pain relief this medication provides still have access.
Several states including Florida, Michigan, and Tennessee have joined others in the creation of strict new rules prohibiting overprescription. These rules limit the quantity of opioids which can be prescribed for pain relief.
Other changes include preventing opioids from being used in chronic conditions. If a condition requires more than a week of medication, doctors are discouraged or prevented from using opioids.
In some states, doctors are also required to take several courses to learn more about opioids so they are more educated about the drugs. They are also required to look at a database of prescriptions to see what the patient has already been prescribed.
These new changes bring with them a lot of potential benefits, but there are also some challenges and risks involved.
Checking to see what a patient has already been prescribed sounds simple enough, but in some states there isn’t a clear database, so the logistics of this check can be daunting.
Regulations that allow a doctor to provide a refill if a person checks in with them in person or can only refill their prescription when it’s in person can limit abuses, but they can also increase the copays and troubles of patients, essentially taxing those who are not abusing the drugs while those who are might still find access to them through other means.
Another challenge is that doctors are increasingly afraid to prescribe opioids even when there is reason to. Sometimes people who have severe pain don’t get that pain treated and instead search for other pain relief, often with illicit drugs such as heroin.
Will this Work?
The economics of drugs is always a tricky beast. Reducing access to drugs on one hand can obviously make harder for some to access them, but it also creates a vacuum for the black market to fill.
It will take some time to see what effect if any—positive or negative—these new laws will have. Different states and countries taking varied approaches will provide opportunities to explore the data and find the best ways to help those who need it without providing ways for others to abuse this need.
One of the best things you can do is just be informed. Educate yourself about your condition, the drugs available, and various other pain management techniques. That way, you and your doctor can have a productive discussion about the best ways you can deal with your pain, and find a solution with as little risk of dependency as possible.
If you feel you have become addicted or at risk, there are detox centers in Florida ready to help you. Give us a call at (855) 441-2449 or contact us online today.