Reps. Suozzi and Katko Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Opioid Addiction

November 21, 2017
Long Island Media

Long Island, NY - November 21, 2017 - U.S. Reps. John Katko (NY-24) and Tom Suozzi (NY-3) today announced that they have introduced bipartisan legislation geared towards reducing opioid addiction and drug abuse in New York and nationwide.

The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would limit the initial supply of opioid prescription for acute pain to seven days. When a person is treated for acute pain, such as a broken bone or wisdom teeth extraction, an over-prescription of a painkiller can pave the way to addiction and abuse. This legislation is modeled after current New York State law.

Rep. John Katko said, “The opioid drug epidemic has devastated families in Central New York and communities nationwide. This bipartisan bill would target one of the root causes of drug overdoses in the United States, which is the over-prescription of highly addictive opioids. Our legislation limits the supply of an initial opioid prescription for acute pain to seven days. Doing so will reduce over-prescription of painkillers and help reduce the risk of opioid dependency.”

“The opioid epidemic is tearing apart families and friends while infecting whole communities on Long Island, Queens and throughout the nation,” said Rep. Suozzi. “Our bipartisan legislation takes a big step toward preventing people from being over-prescribed and beginning a downward spiral towards dependency on opioids.”

This legislation would require medical professionals to certify, as part of their DEA registration, that they will not prescribe an opioid as an initial treatment for acute pain in an amount that exceeds a seven-day supply, and may not provide a refill. This limit does not apply to the treatment of chronic pain, pain treated as part of cancer care, hospice or other end of life care, or pain treated as part of palliative care.

Those who suffer from drug addiction or know someone who is addicted are encouraged to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline: 1-800-622-HELP (4357) for assistance.