Painkiller abuse epidemic prompts states to take action: 5 things to know

An epidemic of prescription narcotic painkiller abuse has prompted more states to limit how these drugs are prescribed, according to a report from The New York Times.

Here are five things to know about the issue.

1. There are about 375 proposals in state legislatures across the nation that would regulate pain clinics and several aspects of prescribing painkillers, according to the report, which cites information from the American Academy of Pain Management.

2. Massachusetts lawmakers recently passed a bill that would sharply restrict how many pain pills a physician can prescribe after surgery or an injury to a seven-day supply, according to The New York Times. The bill is expected to be signed later this month.

3. In Vermont and Maine, officials are considering similar actions.

4. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) told The New York Times states are taking action because drug industry lobbyists are able to block federal initiatives.

5. The National Governors Association is set to meet in July to develop a broad approach that could reduce the use of painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, according to the report.


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