Opioid Abuse Deterrence, Research, and Recovery Act

The opioid crisis has rocked the United States for 20 years since the 1990’s, and in that time, it’s become widely referred to as an epidemic—or a rapid acceleration of prescription and non-prescription drug abuse. The opioid epidemic has devastated families, neighborhoods, and communities across the country, with nearly 90 Americans dying per day from opioid related incidents, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Law enforcement officials, physicians, and treatment centers across the country have done an admirable job attempting to contain the problem, but the epidemic has left these communities overwhelmed as they try to address the root causes of the problem and help rehabilitate those suffering from its damage.

In response, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) have introduced the the Opioid Abuse Deterrence, Research, and Recovery Act--a bill that seeks to address an underlying cause of this issue by placing common sense parameters, with appropriate flexibility, around initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain in order to limit the risks of addiction. Research conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that the risks for addiction to prescription opioids dramatically increase around seven days after prescribed. This bill would place a limit on a patient’s first opioid prescription for acute-pain to no more than 7 days, except in cases of traumatic injury, chronic conditions, cancer-care, end of life care, palliative care, or based on a physician’s recommendation. The limitation to seven days would appropriately mitigate risks of abuse while also providing flexibility for doctors and patients to receive treatment where needed.

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