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November 09, 2016: State Legislative Conference Addresses Painkiller Abuse


2016 State Legislative Conference on Painkiller Abuse

From October 27th to 29th the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) held a State Legislative Conference to discuss the way the federal and state governments have addressed the issue of the painkiller abuse epidemic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sales of prescription opioids in the U.S. nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2014; deaths from prescription opioids—drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone- have also quadrupled since 1999.

Painkiller Abuse and Heroin Addiction

In Arizona, from 2005 to 2015, pain killers were the cause of significantly more deaths than deaths attributed to other drugs. In 2015, 405 deaths were caused by pharmaceutical painkiller overdose compared with 237 heroin-related deaths.

According to Cara Christ, M.D., M.S., director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, “Seventy-five percent of heroin users started along the path of drug use with prescription medication.”


Attorney Eric H. Weinberg has played a significant role in multiple mass tort litigations against corporate pharmaceutical defendants. He has represented plaintiffs in high profile drug lawsuits including Pradaxa, Vioxx, Baycol, and blood clotting products. For a free drug lawsuit evaluation, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274, or submit the easy-to-use Free Legal Case Evaluation Form. Our phones are answered 24/7.

State Legislation Addressing Painkiller Abuse

The AAFP State Legislative Conference highlighted several actions taken by state governments to address the issue of painkiller abuse, such as, among others:

  • 37 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws ( that give individuals some legal immunity for calling 911 or otherwise seeking medical attention for themselves or someone else who is experiencing an opioid-related overdose
  • Five states have passed laws or regulations that place limits on prescription quantity. Connecticut and Massachusetts, for example, imposed a seven-day supply limit on new opioid prescriptions for adults and on all opioid prescriptions for minors.
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