Delaware pushes stricter prescribing guidelines for painkillers

    (AP file photo)

    (AP file photo)

    Delaware officials are urging doctors to follow more stringent regulations when they prescribe pain medications.

    The Department of State announced three proposed changes Wednesday that are aimed at reducing the frequency with which painkillers are prescribed and subsequently abused.

    Under the proposed guidelines, doctors would be able to provide an initial supply of opioid medication for no longer than seven days for patients recovering from an injury or procedure.

    Those with chronic pain would need to sign a treatment agreement and take drug screenings twice a year.

    The guidelines would affect primary care doctors, dentists, podiatrists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Veterinarians, pharmacists or hospitals wouldn’t be subject to the limits.

    The proposed changes are available for public comment until May 31.

    More than 200 people suffered fatal overdoses in Delaware last year.

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