Gov. Wolf signs package of bills to address opioid crisis
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 11.02.16
Photo by Ben Allen/WITF
Gov. Wolf signs bills aiming to address the opioid crisis by limiting prescriptions, adding more checks, and increasing education requirements for new doctors.
They'll restrict how many opioids you can get, and add more checks for prescribers.
One law limits opioid prescriptions for patients discharged from the emergency room.
Another requires doctors, nurses and physician assistants to check a statewide database every time they prescribe an opioid.
Others address prescribing opioids to minors, and new pain management training for prescribers.
Governor Wolf says no one bill stands out.
"I mean we needed all of them, and I'm happy that we've got them. As I say, I think I said it three times, we have more work to do but this is a really great continuation of a journey we started a year and a half ago," he says.
Many applaud the changes, but some urge caution - fearful that if it's harder to get pills, people addicted to prescription opioids will instead use heroin.
Governor Wolf says he's skeptical.
"First of all, they say is not a real study and I challenge you to show one study that shows that that's true," says Wolf.
Gov. Wolf says if prescribers encounter people who are addicted, they should refer them to treatment.
More than 3,500 people died from drug overdoses last year, up from 2014.