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Opioid Alternative Education Bill Ready For Governor

Close-up of Oxycodone bottle.
Cindy Shebley
Close-up of Oxycodone bottle.

The Florida Department of Health will be required to develop and distribute an educational pamphlet regarding the use of non-opioid alternatives to treat pain, under a bill that received final approval from the Florida Legislature on Tuesday.

The measure (HB 451) would also require health providers to discuss non-opioid alternatives with a patient prior to prescribing an opioid.

The proposal is intended to help reduce the number of drug overdoses, which have been steadily increasing and are now the leading cause of death in the U.S.

The bill is now headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the majority of heroin users first misused a prescription pain killer.

The bill was a priority for the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists, which issued a statement following the Senate’s passage of the proposal Tuesday.

“For many years now, certified registered nurse anesthetists have been shining a light on revolutionary alternatives to opioids in anesthesia and post-anesthesia care. Today, we are proud that this legislation --- one of the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists' priority issues --- has been approved by both the Florida House and Senate,” the association said in a statement.