New opioid abuse prevention measures signed into Michigan law

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LANSING, Mich. — Legislation supported by Sen. John Proos to help combat the state’s rising opioid addiction problem has been signed into law.

“The growing abuse of prescription and heroin is now the deadliest drug epidemic in American history and it’s getting worse,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We have seen the terrible impacts in our local communities and throughout the state, where it is killing thousands of Michigan residents every year. These news measures address this epidemic, protect our communities, save lives and ensure that patients in severe pain have access to necessary medications.”

Included in Public Acts 246-255 of 2017 are House Bills 4406-4407, which will require the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to develop recommendations for student curricula addressing the risks associated with prescription drug abuse and require the Michigan Department of Education to develop a model program of instruction on prescription drug abuse that is grade- and age-appropriate based on the commission’s recommendations.

“To end this epidemic, it is critically important that we teach our children about the dangers of prescription painkillers and the risks of addiction,” Proos said. “We must ensure that they understand that there is no such thing as harmless sharing of prescription drugs.

“I want to thank Representative Beth Griffin for her leadership in protecting our next generation from opioid addiction through increased education.”

Other reforms in the package mandate more use by prescribers and dispensers of the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) that tracks patients and prescribers for over-supply of Schedule 2 through Schedule 5 controlled substances. The laws also require doctors who prescribe such drugs to use MAPS and have a bona fide prescriber-patient relationship with the patient before prescribing the controlled substances.

“We also must address the oversupply of these medications,” Proos said. “These reforms will stop abusers from taking advantage of the system to get excessive amounts of dangerously addictive drugs, while maintaining access to pain medications for patients who truly need them.”

The new laws also require that patients getting a prescription for opioids are informed of the effects and possible side effects of the drug, require the consent of parents before minors are prescribed opioids, require doctors to provide treatment service information to patients who have suffered an overdose, and limit prescriptions to seven days for acute pain in cases like having wisdom teeth removed.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.