April 26, 2018 03:26 PM
Gov. Mark Dayton announced two new efforts to fight opioid addiction Thursday, and called on the state legislature to take more action.
The governor established new state guidelines for doctors and health care providers who prescribe opioids and monitor patients using them.
And in another effort to fight the crisis, Dayton designated $700,000 in grants to eight Minnesota communities.
The guidelines were developed with the help of health care providers and community partners.
They first call on physicians to prescribe the lowest effective dose and duration when it comes to those using opioids for acute pain.
More emphasis has also been placed on the weeks that follow, when physicians should be closely monitoring patients after their injury or surgery.
Dayton said that's the most critical time to prevent dependence.
"The proliferation of these narcotics is really frightening," Dayton said. "These guidelines, in terms of limiting use and following through on checking the condition of patients who have severe needs, are really exemplary and are going to make a huge difference."
Rahul Koranne, the chief medical officer for the Minnesota Hospital Association, agreed the medical community needs to take charge.
"I can tell you that one prescription of an opioid can lead - in the right individual - to addiction, heroin or death." Koranne said.
"We take our responsibility very seriously."
Dayton also announced eight outstate Minnesota communities will get anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 in opioid prevention funding.
The money will be used to create controlled substance teams in places like Alexandria, Redwood Falls, Montevideo and with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
The governor also called on the legislature to pass the "Penny-A-Pill" proposal, which establishes a fee for pharmaceutical companies selling opioids in the state.
In 2016, there were 395 opioid overdose deaths in Minnesota - an 18 percent spike from the year before.
Updated: April 26, 2018 03:26 PM
Created: April 26, 2018 12:30 PM
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