Utah lawmakers continue fight against opioid epidemic

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HB 191, Controlled Substance Abuse Amendments, proposes requirements for a prescriber of an opiate to fully discuss, with their patient or the patient’s legal guardian, the risks involved in using opiates. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Evan Vickers, is part of an ongoing effort by Utah legislators to curtail the overuse of opioids in our state.

Risks discussed would include – but not be limited to – potential side effects, the dangers of mixing opioids and alcohol or other central nervous system depressants, aspects of addiction, and how to identify an overdose.

The goal is to make sure patients are educated before they begin taking the medication. The bill doesn’t apply to hospice patients, cancer patients or others dealing with chronic pain management; it applies only to a discussion of risks prior to the issuance of the initial prescription.

The bill was signed by President Stuart Adams and the Speaker of the House and will be sent to the Governor for further action.

You can read or check out audio/video of the bill here.