New Rules for Opiate Prescriptions
Starting on December 15th, a new law has been set in place for physicians and patients that are considered to be the standard for good medical practice. Indiana Legislature passed SEA 246 (in compliance with a federal mandate for states) requiring the Indiana Medical Licensing Board to develop an emergency opioid prescribing rule. This is in response to the out-of-control opioid abuse and diversion problem that is occurring across the nation. This is in hopes to lower the amount of pills on the street along with taking down the “pill mills”, which are physicians and other providers who are unquestionably prescribing and dispensing these narcotics, they are essentially drug dealers. The new regulations are meant to tighten up prescribing practices, close down the mills and reduce abuse, diversion and opioid-related deaths.
You can now expect the following if you are prescribed to these narcotics when you go to visit your physician. Physicians must: Perform a detailed history and physical, have the patient fill out mental health, opiate-addiction risk and pain-assessment questionnaires. Discuss with the patients the benefits and risk of opioid use, alternative treatments and medications, and counsel women ages 14-55 about the risk of taking this medication during pregnancy. Physicians must develop individualized treatment plans with meaningful and functional goals. They are required to have the patient sign a controlled substance agreement that includes prescribing policies, consent to drug screening, permission to conduct random pill counts, requirements to take the medications only as prescribed and the consequences of violating the contract conditions. Consequences may include termination of opioid medication of discharge from the practice. Physicians must also review initially and at least yearly, the patient’s INSPECT report that documents narcotic prescriptions dispensed from pharmacies. The last is required office visits at least four times per year and every two months if there are dosage changes. How this new law with impact opioid drug abuse and diversion and how many primary-care physicians will opt to no longer prescribe opioid narcotics is difficult to predict. Hoping this new law along with new standards will help control the abuse of these narcotics and limit the amount of prescriptions being sold on the streets.
If you or someone you love is battling with an opioid addiction, please seek treatment. Continuing on the path of addiction will only lead to poor health and poor decisions. Please check out www.seabrook.org, and see how our facility is dedicated in helping you achieve a healthier and sober life.