Senate passes legislation that requires prescribers to discuss opioid risks

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STATE HOUSE — The Senate has passed legislation introduced by Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) that would require health care professionals to discuss the dangers of opioid addiction before prescribing the medication.

“We’re battling a lethal epidemic that is killing more people a year than motor vehicle crashes,” said Senator Archambault. “More than 52,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2015 — and 63 percent of those deaths involved an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The legislation (2017-S 0493A) would require that a health care professional authorized to issue prescriptions, prior to issuing an initial prescription for an opioid drug, discuss with the patient who is 18 years of age or older or the patient’s parent or guardian if the patient is under 18, specifically the risks of developing a dependence or addiction on the prescription opioid drug and potential of overdose or death, the adverse risks of concurrent use of alcohol or other psychoactive medications.

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