West Virginia

Ground-zero for the overdose crisis, WV finally tries limit Rx Opioids

After leading the nation is overdose deaths (52 out of every 100,000 people in the state died last year from overdose), West Virginia legislators have taken steps to alleviate some of the problem by setting limits on prescription opioids.

As reported in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, state lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would limit how much pain medicine doctors can prescribe in West Virginia. Prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Lortab would be limited to a seven-day supply for short-term pain, under the bill.

“We need this bill,” said Delegate Matt Rohrbach, R-Cabell, a Huntington doctor. “I’m ashamed to say, there are some in my profession that are less than ethical. We need to put some teeth behind the enforcement, to go out and try to get a handle on this problem.”

The new limits would not apply to patients being treated for cancer, and those in nursing homes and hospice care.

If the bill passes, West Virginia would join about two-dozen other states that have set limits on opioid prescriptions for acute pain, such as that caused by a tooth extraction or ankle sprain.

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To read more about how West Virginia is working to limit prescription opioids, please visit the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

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