Scott Metzger, MD, SEM Pain Consulting, discusses some of the new state laws regarding pain management and what they mean for pain relief.

Many states are addressing the misuse of opioids by enacting laws that directly affect pain management specialists and their prescribing habits. For example, Florida, Michigan, and Tennessee have enacted tough new laws on prescriptions for opioids. The rules limit the amounts that medical professionals can prescribe for temporary (acute) pain from surgery, injury, or illness.

For acute pain, the laws typically limit the length of an initial opioid prescription to seven days, although it’s only three days in some states (Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota) unless the doctor can document the need for a seven-day supply. In addition, some states now require doctors to do more legwork in order to prescribe opioids.