New regulations take effect to tackle N.H.’s opioid epidemic

New regulations aimed at curbing New Hampshire’s flood of prescription opioid pills took effect in New Year’s Day, showing a ray of hope for the opioid epidemic’s victims as well as their near and dear ones.

Overdose deaths have drastically increased across New Hampshire as the number of prescriptions has more than quadrupled since around 2000. New regulations are expected to make it harder for doctors to prescribe painkillers that are collectively called opioids.

Dr. William Goodman, CMO at Catholic Medical Center, said, “We know that – [with] this crisis we’re in now with the opioid epidemic with people suffering addiction and overdoses and so on – we know that looking back, the number of prescriptions has quadrupled since about the year 2000.”

Dr. Goodman stressed on the need to address in the increase use of opioids and expressed hope that the year of 2017 will mark progress in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

Under the new regulations, doctors can’t write a prescription before conducting a patient risk assessment. In addition, the patient must sign a consent form before seeking opioids.

The patients’ requests for opioids will be checked by authorities against the prescription drug monitoring program database to make sure that the patient isn’t seeking opioids from multiple doctors.

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