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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Lawmakers Work to Contain Texas Opioid Scourge

Texas Tribune

Almost 3,000 Texans died from drug-related overdoses two years ago, and many of these were related to prescription opioid use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named prescription drug abuse as the fastest-growing drug problem in the country.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the Lone Star State has enacted new laws, supported by Texas physicians, to battle the epidemic. Perhaps most important of these is a law that allows Texans to obtain the life-saving medication naloxone directly from their neighborhood pharmacy. In many cases, naloxone has been the difference between life and death.

The Tribune says physicians can prevent further deaths in three ways. First, doctors should tell their patients naloxone. Second, they can co-prescribe the drug to patients who are at risk of overdose. And third, they can avoid prescribing opioids for new patients with chronic non-cancer pain unless the expected benefits outweigh the risks.