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Guidelines for opioid prescriptions introduced in Wisconsin

Before guidelines, doctors only had to follow federal law

Guidelines for opioid prescriptions introduced in Wisconsin

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - There are now guidelines for prescribing opioids in Wisconsin as our state works to fight prescription drug abuse.

The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board adopted the opioid guidelines for Wisconsin doctors Tuesday. The new guidelines say the lowest dose and fewest number of opioid pills needed should be prescribed. In most cases, less than 3 days' worth are necessary, and rarely more than 5 days' worth.

The guidelines also require doctors to warn patients they could become addicted, and to avoid opioids as a go to pain prescription.

Up until these guidelines, Wisconsin doctors only had the federal laws telling them when and where to prescribe opioids.

"If you look at what's been happening over the last 20 years in the country with the amount of opioids that we're prescribing, the number of overdoses, the number of overdose deaths of prescription medications, I think this is long overdue," said Gundersen Health System Executive Vice President Doctor Michael Dolan.

In a statement released Tuesday, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says the new guidelines are "a critical step for the medical community in Wisconsin, which has been helping lead nationwide efforts to end prescription drug abuse."

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