These Are Ohio’s New Guidelines for Prescribing Pain Medication
People around the country are talking about Ohio’s new guidelines for prescribing pain medications. Owing to the opiate addiction crisis in the state, Ohio has taken steps to create new guidelines for prescribing pain medication that has been recommended by the state’s healthcare regulatory boards. The state hopes that by working closely with healthcare providers, it can tamp down on addictions to pain medications that plague many individuals statewide. Ohio narcotic prescribing laws are strict but still offer healthcare providers some flexibility to help their patients effectively manage pain.
New Guidelines for Prescribing Pain Medication in Ohio
Each year, Ohio invests roughly one billion dollars to fight drug addiction and abuse. It has now enlisted the help of its medical boards to create new Ohio pain management law that promises to help reduce the opioid epidemic sweeping the state. These guidelines for prescribing pain medication are effective as of August 31, 2017. The rules are designed in association with prescriptions that are issued to treat acute pain. The state hopes that these new guidelines will lead to the reduction of more than 100 million opiate doses each year.
Highlights of Ohio Narcotic Prescribing Laws
When it comes to prescribing opiate drugs to treat acute pain, healthcare providers can offer no more than seven days of an opiate narcotic for adult patients. Healthcare providers can prescribe minors no more than five days of an opiate drug. The new Ohio pain management law does offer some flexibility, however, as it allows healthcare providers to prescribe opiate-based pain medications that exceed these limits as long as they list a medical reason on their patient’s official medical record.
Without this official reason, the healthcare provider is prohibited from deviating from the prescribing limits. These guidelines for prescribing pain medication do not apply to opioid drugs that are prescribed for patients with cancer or who are receiving palliative care or end-of-life hospice care. These limits do not apply to the medication-assisted treatment for patients suffering from addiction.
Enforcing the New Ohio Pain Management Law
Ohio is mandating that prescribers include their diagnosis or a medical code for a procedure along with their prescription for every controlled substance. This data will be entered into the state’s monitoring program known as OARRS. Healthcare providers who deviate from these guidelines are subject to penalties by the state medical board. The state is also urging prescribers to use the OARRS program to check that patients aren’t “doctor shopping” in order to procure opiate prescriptions. By monitoring patients, doctors can learn about any other controlled substances the patient may have obtained and why.
Reducing Opiate Addiction
Ohio is committed to working with healthcare providers to reduce opiate addictions throughout the state. Already, the state has witnessed an increase in physicians’ use of the OARRS system to the tune of millions. The state hopes that its prescribing limits will prevent patients from becoming addicted to these powerful drugs.
Prior to the limits, doctors had the ability to prescribe opiates for a thirty-day window. Many patients simply do not require that amount of medication. Because there is no way to determine what patients may begin to abuse these medications and become addicted to them, the limits will help prevent abuse from occurring in the first place. Healthcare providers can still surpass the limits if patients truly require more medication so long as they provide documentation on the patients’ medical records.
Suffering from an addiction to opioid takes its toll on an individual’s mental and physical health. Drug addiction can tear families apart, ruin careers, and lead to serious financial and even legal trouble. WhiteSands Treatment helps addiction sufferers learn to manage this disease. Many states, including Florida, will be closely watching Ohio as its new pain management laws take effect. Their success may lead to similar legislation for other states combating the opioid epidemic.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.