Several pieces of legislation regarding opioid prescriptions have just gone into effect, or will do so over the next several months, affecting health care providers across the state of Michigan. Other states may follow suit or may already have passed similar provisions.
Each new requirement aims to chip away at the epidemic of misuse, addiction, overdoses and deaths related to opioids. By addressing the use of opioid-containing medications, the new laws aim to keep more people from falling into a spiral of dependence on the drugs or progressing to using illegal opioids like heroin.
“The spirit of the opioid legislation being passed is tied to this epidemic we’re seeing and increased number of opioid overdoses. We have to crack down on the prescription process. My impression is that this will have a bigger impact on providers compared to patients,” says Paul Hilliard, M.D. , assistant professor and medical director for Michigan Medicine’s Institutional Opioid and Pain Management Strategy.
The requirements that went into effect in March of this year largely relate to providing opioid education to patients. Public Act 250 of 2017 requires licensees or registrants who treat patients for opioid-related overdose to provide information on substance abuse disorder services.