Opioid Prescription Regulations Affecting Patients

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: January 20, 2019 10:44 PM

Opioids have a negative light due to the current crisis in opioid dependence and opioid use disorders. This has affected the percentage of people who strictly use it to treat their medical conditions.

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"There are some chronic ongoing conditions which are probably best managed with an opioid, some terminal cancers have severe pain associated with them and they really need an opioid,” Dr. Van Deelen from St. Luke’s said.

Regulations have gotten stricter nationwide on opioid prescriptions.

"A number of different states have passed some sort of quantity limits. It's more commonly seven days, but some states are even stricter," Cody Wiberg, the executive director for Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, said.

Minnesota has a maximum four-day supply on opioids prescribed for dental or eye surgery pain for now, but this could change in the future with laws restricting opioid prescriptions.

"There is not a more general thing that applies to use of opioids right now, and I do expect something like that will pass,” Wiberg said.

This could put in jeopardy the percentage of people who use opioids for their health.

The medical industry has been putting their part in helping decrease the misuse of opioids by taking careful measures.

"If somebody comes in with an acute injury, we try and use the lowest dose for the shortest period of time to try and protect them from developing a dependence problem,” Van Deelen said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided recommendations on how much to prescribe and who to prescribe opioids to.

The medical industry has also been making sure to make providers and patients aware of the risks opioids present and monitoring a patient's usage.

"We need to only allow them to be used for conditions where it’s clear there aren't better options and do contribute to a patients functionality,” Van Deelen said.


Alejandra Palacios

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