CONNECTICUT'S SEVEN-DAY LIMIT ON OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS
By: Nicole Dube, Principal Analyst
Describe Connecticut's law limiting the prescription of opioid drugs to seven days, including any exceptions to this limitation.
SEVEN-DAY LIMIT ON OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS
In 2016, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law that prohibits a prescribing practitioner authorized to prescribe an opioid drug from issuing a prescription for more than a seven-day supply to (1) a minor or (2) an adult for first-time outpatient use (PA 16-43).
When prescribing an opioid drug to a minor for less than seven days, the law requires the practitioner to discuss with the (1) minor and (2) if present when the prescription is issued, minor's custodial parent, guardian, or legal custodian:
1. the associated risks of addiction and overdose;
2. the dangers of taking opioid drugs with alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other central nervous system depressants; and
3. why the prescription is necessary.
The law allows the practitioner to prescribe more than a seven-day supply of an opioid drug to a minor or an adult for first time outpatient use if, in his or her professional judgment, the drug is required to treat the person's acute medical condition, chronic pain, cancer-associated pain, or for palliative care. The practitioner must document the patient's condition in his or her medical record and indicate that an alternative to the opioid drug was not appropriate to treat the patient's condition.
The law, which took effect July 1, 2016, does not apply to medications to treat opioid drug dependence or abuse, including opioid antagonists and agonists (e.g., medications such as morphine that activate the same areas of the brain as other opioids).