Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in our community. Cases of addiction and overdoses have increased exponentially since the early 2000s. There are multiple pieces of legislation in the works that seek to attack this problem from all angles, but additional resources are necessary.
I have been working diligently to put an end to opioid and prescription drug abuse and overdoes. Past legislation that I introduced, and is now law, made naloxone available to law enforcement and families of at-risk individuals. Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that has been proven to successfully reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.
I have also introduced legislation that would require doctors who prescribe Schedule II through Schedule V controlled substances to use the Michigan Automated Prescription System, a system designed by the state aimed at reducing illegal diversion between doctors, pharmacists and patients.
MAPS is a great tool that unfortunately, many physicians don’t use at all, or don’t use properly. A new and improved version of the system is going live next month and my bills would require doctors to keep thorough records of their patient’s prescriptions through the new and improved database.
In an effort to attack this issue from yet another angle, I recently introduced Senate Bills 236 and 237, which would facilitate the development of a lesson plan that outlines the dangers of prescription drugs to be used in our schools. In order to educate our communities, we need to focus on this connection between prescription drugs and heroin.
SBs 166 and 167, which would require doctors to use MAPS when prescribing certain medications, were introduced on Feb. 15 and have been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.
SBs 236 and 237 were introduced on March 14 and were also referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.