Minnesota implements new rules for prescribing opioid painkillers

Each day, 91 people die from an opioid overdose in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

To prevent injured workers from ending up with painkiller addictions, the state of Minnesota has adopted stronger requirements for prescribing physicians.

The new rules for long-term opioid prescriptions  took effect in Minnesota on July 13, 2015.

Now, before prescribing long-term opioids, doctors are required to:

  • Affirm that the patient cannot maintain functions of daily life without the medication, doesn't have somatic symptoms disorder, doesn't have a history of failure to comply with treatment, and doesn't have substance abuse disorder.
  • Ensure that all other pain management options have been exhausted.
  • Determine whether the following circumstances are present, and whether they constitute contraindications for long-term opioid use: history of respiratory depression, pregnancy or planned pregnancy, history of substance abuse, suicide risk, poor impulse control, and regular engagement in an activity that could be unsafe for a patient on opioids.
  • Complete a scientific assessment to determine the patient's risk for abuse.
  • Explain the potential consequences and complications of using opioids long-term to the patient.
  • Enter into a written contract with the patient that includes a provision for drug testing at the doctor's discretion.

This is not intended to serve as legal advice for individual fact-specific legal cases or as a legal basis for your employment practices.

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