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New opioid prescribing guidelines in Wisconsin

Prescription opioid addiction is an incredibly serious thing. Among the things it can lead to for those who suffer from it is heroin use. Heroin use has been a serious problem here in Wisconsin in recent times. Both heroin overdose deaths and criminal cases involving heroin have been trending upward in the state, state Justice Department data indicates.

Now, heroin troubles are not unique to Wisconsin. Many other states have been experiencing problems when it comes to this illegal drug. This is among the reasons why opioid prescribing practices have come under increased scrutiny in the U.S. in recent times, given the capacity for prescription opioid addictions to lead to heroin use. Earlier this year, voluntary standards regarding the prescribing of opioids were issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A set of new opioid prescription guidelines has been put into place here in Wisconsin. These new guidelines for medical professionals in the state are based off of the CDC's guidelines, and were recently adopted by the state’s Medical Examining Board. The guidelines cover a range of different prescribing practices regarding prescription opioids. One of the aims of the new guidelines reportedly is to help in the fight against heroin use in Wisconsin.

The actions the state’s Medical Examining Board takes when it comes to certain medications or certain health care practices can have major impacts on doctors. They can lead to hospitals making big changes to their rules and practices. They can also heavily impact what sorts of conduct could put a doctor at risk at facing disciplinary actions. So, what further actions the state’s Medical Examining Board will take in response to the heroin struggles in Wisconsin and rising concerns regarding opioid prescribing is something to keep a close eye on.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Wisconsin board adopts guidelines for prescribing opioids,” July 31, 2016

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