Davisson: Addressing opioid addiction in Indiana

Posted by: Abigail Campbell and Sydney Livingston  | Friday, May 3, 2019 3:00 pm

The opioid crisis continues to impact people across the state, and we must work together to combat this epidemic. As a pharmacist, I see first-hand how opioids have the ability to negatively impact those who take the drug. During the 2019 legislative session, I worked on several pieces of legislation to address opioid addiction in Indiana, and improve quality of life and health care for Hoosiers.

In 2015, there were approximately 5.8 million opioid prescriptions provided to Hoosiers who experienced chronic pain. While beneficial to many people, opioids can be extremely addictive, and it is important for consumers to understand possible side effects. A new law I sponsored requires medications that contain opium to be labeled appropriately, ensuring people know what is in their medication. Clearly labeling drugs that are opioids could deter some individuals from taking them, curb addiction and encourage Hoosiers to talk to their doctors about healthier, less-addictive treatment options.

Another new law I worked on makes it easier for pharmacists to communicate and transfer prescriptions to other pharmacies through e-prescribing. Electronic prescriptions can improve patient safety and security by providing a better way to track and cross-check where prescriptions are coming from and where they are going. These services also give health care providers a way to track any possible dangerous drug interactions in the patient’s history before prescribing certain medications. This law gives pharmacists one more tool to help combat Indiana’s opioid epidemic.

As a legislator, I worked on laws with the best interests of Hoosiers in mind. A vital part of addressing addiction in Indiana is modernizing the way we prescribe, sell and track opioids. Tackling the opioid crisis with commonsense legislation is one way we can continue to improve Hoosier lives and move Indiana forward. As always, you can contact me at h73@iga.in.gov or 317-232-9850 if you have questions or concerns about these or any other new laws.

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 State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,

Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 

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