New Laws in California Aimed at Curbing Opioid Crisis
According to figures released by the California Department of Public Health, around 2,000 California residents die each year from opioid overdoses. In order to help curb those numbers, former governor Jerry Brown has signed several pieces of legislation into law. Here is a quick rundown of some of those new laws.
Reducing Painkiller Prescriptions
Fraudulent prescriptions are a real problem when it comes to opioids. Starting in 2022 all doctors will be required to write electronic prescriptions via the state’s CURES opioid database, meaning that prescriptions will be harder to forge.
The Department of Justice will reduce the amount of vendors licensed to manufacture prescription pads. In addition, all pads will need to be marked with a unique serial number.
Mismatches between California’s controlled substance definitions and those of the federal government are to be eradicated.
Later this year, physicians and surgeons that take required courses on the management of pain will also be educated on the risk of addiction of Schedule II substances. These are similar changes to the mandatory courses taken by nurses, osteopathic physicians, dentists and the physician assistants.
Increasing Treatment Opportunities
In July 2020, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will be required to follow improved regulations, and to update rates of reimbursement for drug treatment programs.
Expanding Access to Naxolone
Soon it will be much easier for pharmacists to hand law enforcement agencies naloxone, which is a substance used in the immediate treatment of opioid overdose victims.
Making the Opioid Database More Resilient
Opioid addicts can currently travel to different states in order to obtain opioids via the same prescription. By strengthening the CURES database and allowing its information to pass beyond state lines, pharmacists in other states can check to see if prescriptions have already been filled.
The CURES database will also be improved to help doctors identify prescription fraud.
The DHCS will be required to adhere to the standards set out by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) or similar when it comes to licensed alcohol and narcotic recovery facilities for adults.
Safe Storage and Trashing of Drugs
By January 2021 drug manufacturers will have to take on the responsibility of the safe disposal of prescription medicines, including opioids. This includes the construction of collection sites and any funds needed for safe disposal.
Community pharmacies will be required to display safe storage products if they dispense opioids.
At Advanced Rapid Detox, We Applaud the Efforts of California Lawmakers
Hopefully these changes enacted by California lawmakers will begin to have an effect on the opioid crisis in the state. Only time will tell, but as a country, we need to continue to invest in resources to curb this epidemic that’s decimating our communities. If you’ve been affected by opioid addiction and are in need of help, feel free to reach out to our team today to learn more about our rapid opiate detox programs.