Devastatingly, North Carolina has been walloped by the nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse. This crisis has resulted in too many of our neighbors, friends, family members, co-workers, and fellow North Carolinians dying.

Some issues should rise above politics and partisanship…this is one of them. Bipartisanship should be front and center to find immediate and practical solutions. The press releases and sound clips should focus on helping, not pointing fingers.

Members of the North Carolina House Republicans have been working tirelessly with Democrats to develop legislative solutions to this ongoing epidemic. We have worked with stakeholders on all sides of the healthcare arena to ensure North Carolinians have the help they need to deal with this crisis.

In March, we authored and passed Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act.

Here is what the STOP ACT does to help North Carolinians suffering from this epidemic:

  • Extends standing orders for the opioid antagonist to community health groups. This helps first responders and physicians have in stock and administer life-saving drugs to reverse the impacts of opioids in an overdose situation.
  • Requires supervising physicians to personally consults with physician assistants and nurse practitioners who prescribe prescription painkillers to patients.
  • Requires electronic prescribing of certain prescription painkillers (opioids).
  • Establishes maximum limits for the number of pills to be filled at a given time.
  • Establishes civil penalties for pharmacies that employ dispensers who improperly report information to the controlled substance reporting systems.
  • Expands the role of the NC Department of Health and Human Services in detecting and preventing fraud and misuse of the controlled substance reporting systems.
  • Mandates dispensers and practitioners use the controlled substance reporting system.
  • Funds community-based substance use disorder treatment and recovery services.

We will continue to provide our fellow North Carolinians suffering from the resources to help the overcome this epidemic. This crisis impacts us all if it impacts one of us.