Community Issues

Pa. Senate Passes Bill to Limit Opioid Prescriptions

The bill, intended to curb the opioid epidemic, now heads to the House.

The Pennsylvania State Senate has passed a bill that would further limit how opioids are prescribed by doctors, as part of a package of legislation to combat the opioid epidemic.

One bill would limit opioid painkiller prescriptions to seven days for all adults. In 2016, lawmakers limited prescriptions to seven days for minors and emergency room patients. The bill includes exceptions for patients who undergo major surgery, or if a physician determines a longer prescription is medically necessary.

The bill passed unanimously and will now move on to the House, where the Post-Gazette reports it is expected to find unanimous support .

According to the Post-Gazette, the Pennsylvania Medical Society opposes the bill, saying it "takes the decision-making out of the hands of physicians."

Last month, a study conducted by researchers at Penn State and other universities found that unused prescriptions by friends and family were the most common route to opioid addiction . The researchers said their findings underscored the importance of secure drug drop-off locations so that patients can safely dispose of their unused or expired medication. Earlier this year, several Giant Eagle locations started offering permanent Take Back Boxes .

If you're looking for a location to safely discard unused prescription drugs, you can click here.

You can click here for more information on drug abuse prevention, and resources if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction .

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