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Opioid Response Legislation Faces a Tight Deadline to Pass

March 6th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
The shooting in Parkland tragically claimed 17 lives and responding to the issue has taken up most of Legislators focus for the past few weeks, but lawmakers like Senator Darryl Rouson, want to make sure Response to the opioid crisis, which kills 16 Floridians each day doesn’t fall by the wayside.
“The same number of people that died in Parkland have died since Parkland and every day before that,” said Sen. Rouson.
The subject came up multiple times while Senators debated Legislation on school safety Monday.
“Parents come in with their two and three-year-old children, lay them on the stretcher while they’re seeking drugs,” said Senator Denise Grimsley.
The effort this year seeks to tackle the supply of medical opioids.
Proposed Legislation would limit doctors to prescribing just a three day supply in most cases, with the option of a seven day supply if it’s deemed necessary.
Some in the medical profession say the restrictions included in the bill are too tight.
But other provisions in the bill like requiring patients to enter into the Prescription Drug Registery to prevent doctor shopping and requiring ongoing training for doctors to prescribe the medications have strong support.
“Somebody from North Florida can’t just go over to Georgia and get their medications. So we think that’s beneficial,” said Mark Fontaine, President of the Florida Behavioral Mental Health Association.
The Senate bill sets aside more than $53 million for opioid response, but until the budget finalized that number isn’t guaranteed.
The bill was temporarily postponed in the Senate Tuesday, leaving only three more days for its passage.

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