All about New Nevada Opioid Law
A deadly opioid crisis is currently rocking Nevada. According to National Vital Statistics System, in 2015 68% of deaths from drug overdose in the state was caused by opioid. While according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 408 Nevada residents were recorded to have died in 2016 due to the same reason.
Opioid is a type of drug that is made from opium poppy plant and is used medically for its morphine effects such as pain-relief. When abused, it brings nausea, paranoia, constipation, coma, and eventual death to the user.
Different forms of opioid include fentanyl, codeine, oxycodone, and, hydrocodone, which are all prime suspects for many drug overdoses. The state of Nevada is scrambling to combat the epidemic the drugs have caused.
The city of Las Vegas is known for its hardcore get-togethers which are prevalent when it comes to opioid use. Make no mistake—substance abuse is illegal in the city and drug misuse might not only land you in jail but can also risk your life. If entangled with a case involving opioid, get the help of a defense lawyer in Las Vegas that specializes in the field.
Opioid can be legally obtained through prescription of doctors. Because even a standard amount of opioid can cause addiction, the medical industry is only allowed to give the required amount. However, there are still instances of over prescriptions that ultimately causes addiction to the patients.
But with the new law that regulates opioid prescriptions called Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Act or AB474 established by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and passed by the legislature, it is now more difficult to approved prescriptions and for patients to acquire opioid.
The law, effective since January 1, necessitates prescribing doctors to have a continuous education regarding opioid prescription and should do research about the patient before writing anything on a prescription sheet.
The birthdate of the patient, a pain management plan or PMP, the official diagnosis, the name of the prescribing physician, and the minimum days the drug should be consumed are all needed to be enclosed in the prescription.
Aside from this, doctors need to know the patient for at least 6 months before prescribing opioid to the patient. Doctors also have to perform a physical exam on the patient and run him or her through the risk factors of taking the medication. The opioid given should only be adequate for the period of time patients are required to take them. For example, if a patient needs 365 days-worth of opioid then it cannot exceed to more than a year. Patients, on the other hand, need to secure an informed consent and provide it to the physician.
These extra steps are being implemented to effectively monitor prescriptions and which doctors are giving too much of what is needed. Though lengthy, the process aims to decrease opioid abuse and provide health care security to regular patients.
Concerns of doctors and patients
Despite the new Nevada law’s aim to curb the opioid epidemic and save lives, the medical field, the legal field, and the general public have reservations about its enactment.
Aside from the additional paperwork and assessment, doctors are worried about the penalties they can be charged with if they did not follow the process completely. They also point out that the said law has not completely laid down and detailed which acts are considered punishable. They are also especially concerned about being incriminated due to mistakes caused by nurses or by the patients themselves. Patients are also voicing out their fears about painkillers being harder to claim, even if they have provided documents and obvious incapacities.
Due to this qualms, Nevada’s medical board formed a committee to re-evaluate the draft and offer suggestions to make it harmonious to all the parties involved such as simplifying the requirements needed and be clearer about what doctor conduct constitutes as violation of the law.
The newly approved Nevada Opioid Law is aiming to put a stop the opioid crisis. If you are a prescribing physician, a taker of medications, or a concerned citizen, you can work with a defense laywer in Las Vegas to learn about your rights regarding the latest decree!
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