WASHINGTON – Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and John McCain (R-AZ) have announced bipartisan legislation to combat opioid addiction by limiting the supply of an initial opioid prescription for acute pain to seven days.
According to a release from Senator Gillibrand’s office, many individuals become addicted to opioids after taking prescriptions for acute pain, such as a broken bone or wisdom tooth extraction.
The legislation would require medical professionals to certify that they will not prescribe an opioid as an initial treatment for acute pain in an amount that exceeds a seven-day supply, and may not provide a refill.
The limit does not apply to the treatment of chronic pain, pain being treated as part of cancer care, hospice or other end of life care, or pain treated as part of palliative care.
The federal legislation is modeled after laws in several states, including New York and Arizona.
Studies show that people who are addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.