Opioid epidemic prompts tightening of prescription rules

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ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — The nation’s opioid epidemic has prompted a northern Illinois hospital to start enforcing strict rules on what kind of opioid painkillers can and can’t be dispensed in the emergency room.

Related: Opioid commission tells Trump to declare state of emergency

The (Elgin) Courier-News reports that Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin and its satellite emergency care facilities in the region won’t prescribe long-acting opioid painkillers. Nor will the facilities allow the prescription of anything other than a short dose of the painkillers. It also won’t allow refills of any lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

The new rules also prohibit emergency room caregivers from using the painkiller Dilaudid except to cancer patients or patients who’ve suffered major trauma.

The new initiative follows the lead of the practices already in place at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

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