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Arkansas approves draft regulations to curb opioid abuse

Dec 8, 2017

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas State Medical Board has approved draft regulations aimed at reducing opioid abuse.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the board unanimously voted in favor of the regulations Thursday. The requirements are based on guidelines issued last year by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal agency says Arkansas had the second-highest opioid prescribing rate in the country last year, with more than 110 prescriptions for every 100 residents in the state. Opioid medications include hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine.

The new requirements would limit prescriptions for treatment of acute pain to a seven-day supply. It would also require doctors who prescribe more than 50 morphine milligram equivalents per day to explore alternative treatment plans.

The board says the rules will be submitted to lawmakers for final approval after a public hearing February.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com