TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida House’s version of legislation to combat the state’s opioid epidemic is headed to the floor.
The bill, which passed the Health & Human Services Committee on Wednesday, would impose new restrictions on prescriptions. Most initial prescriptions would have a limit of three days but doctors can prescribe up to seven days for acute pain exceptions.
The proposal doesn’t cover cases of chronic pain or cancer. It would also require all health care professionals to participate in a statewide database that monitors prescriptions.
During the committee meeting, Rep. Jim Boyd told lawmakers the measure has undergone some changes after consultation with the Senate and Gov. Rick Scott’s office.
A Senate version has passed all its committees but Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto said the bill remains a work in progress.
Central Florida has had its share of problems with opioid use.
On the streets of Osceola County, the grip of opioid addiction is strong.
Osceola County was the first in the state to move forward with a lawsuit against 21 pharmaceutical companies.
In the lawsuit, the county claims the opioid crisis is costing taxpayers money.
In Ocala, police said they are fighting the growing heroin and opioid epidemic by creating an amnesty program that could help save lives. There have been 22 overdoses and seven deaths since the year began, police said.
Law enforcement agencies have used the drug Narcan to save lives.
Narcan reverses an overdose of opioid, including heroin and pain medications such as morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone.