ILLINOIS (WAND) – Opioid addiction will be addressed with a new law focused on education.
Medical professionals are now required to take three hours of existing continuing education on safely prescribing opioid drugs. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2777 and says the need to be cautious is important.
“We want to make sure our doctors see potential signs of abuse and are cautious when prescribing opioid medications to those who need them, cutting back on the potential for addiction,” he said.
The governor’s office says impacted professions will include physicians, podiatric physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists and veterinarians. Each of those roles requires a separate controlled substance license.
“Medical professionals who prescribe and dispense controlled prescription drugs are the first line of defense for patients who rely on them. Continuing medical education is critically important for those affected by the prescribing of controlled substances,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian M. McKnight, Chicago Field Division.
A press release from Gov. Rauner’s office estimates America has 1.9 million citizens struggling with opioid addiction. It also says about 11 million Americans misused opioid drugs in the last year.
Rauner says Illinois has worked to fight the opioid crisis by starting a 24-hour Helpline, creating a standing order for Naloxone use, and boosting reporting requirements to the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program in an effort to stop ‘doctor-shopping’.
“This law ensures that medical professionals will obtain valuable education while still preserving their ability to use judgment and treat patients appropriately,” said IDFPR Secretary Bryan A. Schneider.