In just 4 day’s North Carolina’s new STOP law will officially go into effect, a law designed to target prescription opioid abusers and addicts across our state.
Our state is currently seeing an average of 3 drug-overdose deaths per day, with about half being caused by prescription painkillers (opioids), according to the NCDPH. Last year North Carolina physicians and physicians assistants prescribed over 675 million opioid pills to a state with a population of just over 10 million people. 4 North Carolina towns have even been ranked among the worse places for opioid abuse in America.
A large number of those prescriptions either go directly to addicts or are sold on the street for fast cash.
This past summer, NC lawmakers decided that something needed to be done. They passed the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevent Act (STOP Act) with overwhelming support from both the NC House and Senate.
According to the new STOP law;
“Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners prescribing targeted controlled substances are required to personally consult with the supervising physician if (1) the patient is being treated at a facility that primarily engages in the treatment of pain by prescribing narcotic medications or advertises for any type of pain management services, and (2) the therapeutic use of the prescription will, or is expected to, exceed 30 days.
Furthermore, when prescribing to the same patient continuously, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are required to consult with a supervising physician at least once every 90 days to verify that the prescription remains medically appropriate.”
The new law limits how many drugs doctors can prescribe – 5 days worth for acute pain from broken bones or a car crash and 7 days worth after a surgery.
It will also require doctors and pharmacists to report all prescriptions to a state-controlled substance database.