A new state law that just took effect requires best-practices training for all those who are allowed to prescribe opioids and other controlled substances — including doctors, nurses, dentists and eye specialists. Duluth Representative Liz Olson says that’s just one piece of the bill the legislature passed last session. “We really tried to tackle the opioid crisis in a really comprehensive way, from treatment, prevention, education,” Olson says, “And we knew one of the ways that we need to get at this is with those folks who are writing prescriptions.”
Olson says that education goes beyond how opioids should be prescribed, “That not being the only option for pain management, and to really start to look at non-pharmacological options for pain management that prescribers can be working with and incorporating into their practice.”
The state Human Services Department says latest data show physicians across Minnesota are generally writing fewer prescriptions for opioids, or for lower doses than they used to.