Change to Florida opioid law goes into effect Monday

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 91 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses, and many lawmakers are getting more aggressive to try to combat the opioid epidemic.

Beginning Monday doctors and pharmacies will have just 24 hours to enter information into a statewide electronic database – a change from the previous seven-day time allowance.

Many feel Florida’s opioid laws still aren’t tough enough even with this change.

That’s because many states require doctors and pharmacies to report opioid prescriptions before they write them.

Florida lawmakers are still mulling a bill that would do that.

Another reason residents don’t believe the state's laws aren’t tough enough is due to recent research that shows very few Florida doctors are even signed up for Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program.

In 2016, research conducted at the University of Florida showed just 21 percent of doctors and 57 percent of pharmacists in the state had signed up for the monitoring program.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the number of entries in the system last year increased 30 percent – with an average of 6,000 dispensers reported to the database each month.

Many doctors say under the opioid crackdown, they’re more cautious about prescribing painkillers, hurting those who would benefit from the drugs.

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