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State Senator Proos talks new MI opioid laws

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- A bipartisan effort in Michigan resulted in 10 bills being signed into law on Wednesday, all to help fight the opioid epidemic.

“It’s about making sure that folks across southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana have an understanding of just exactly how dangerous this is and how pervasive opioid addiction has become,” said Michigan State Senator John Proos, who represents the 21st District.

Proos did not sponsor any of the legislation, but he supported it the whole way through.

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley signed the bills into law on Wednesday in Lansing.

Doctors who prescribe medication will now have to use the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) to check their patient’s prescription history before giving them more pills.

And there will now be consequences if a doctor fails to use “MAPS.”

“If they are over-prescribing, they are creating a new generation of addicted individuals who then seek a greater and greater high,” Proos said.

The new laws also target the classroom.

A commission of experts will be formed to come up with ways the Michigan Department of Education and individual schools can teach kids about the dangers of opioids and addiction.

“Come together as a group, as experts,” Proos said. “Figure out age-appropriate curriculum. And then allow that to be filtered out to students and kids so that they have a better sense of just exactly how dangerous this is.”

Proos said the goal is appropriate oversight, in an effort to slow a fast-moving epidemic that is killing more people in Michigan each year than car accidents.

“These help to put some boundaries in place and really allow us, as a legislature, to have a say in how physicians interact with their patients, while not taking away the patient-doctor relationship,” Proos said.

Another bill signed into law Wednesday will limit doctors to prescribing only a seven-day supply of an opioid for acute pain—like if you get your wisdom teeth taken out – within a week-long period.

Proos said people often end up with more pills than they need, which can feed an addiction or prompt children to experiment if they find them in the house.

To read about each individual bill that was signed on Wednesday, click here.

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