Opioid Abuse

Opioid Abuse

Monday, February 5, 2018

Opioid abuse continues to grip the nation and the effects of this national crisis are being felt throughout our state. Hoosiers continue to see the number of deaths from opioid abuse rise. In 2016 alone, 488 Hoosiers died of an opioid overdose, according to data released by the Indiana State Department of Health.

Opioid abuse has damaging effects on individuals, families and communities and continues to be a focus of legislation in the state of Indiana. This session, Senate Bill 221, authored by State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) would require doctors to check INSPECT, Indiana’s Drug Monitoring Program, when prescribing opioids to a patient. This bill will help prescribers know if a patient already has an opioid prescription from another provider or if a patient has a history of excessive opioid use. SB 221 passed the Senate by a 47-1 vote and will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

Addiction to prescription painkillers can often drive people to seek other, more powerful drugs. Legislation like SB 221 is a necessary step in the fight against this crisis. This bill would let prescribers know of any red flags in a patient’s history before giving them opioids. By having the ability to use this search program, prescribers can determine if patients are “doctor shopping” for multiple prescriptions, are using opioids at a rate higher than prescribed, or are at risk for an overdose.

Click here for more information on SB 221.