ANNAPOLIS, Md. - As the death toll from overdoses continues to grow, lawmakers are working on new legislation that starts with the prescribers.
Delegate Karen Lewis Young from Frederick County has introduced a bill that would require health care providers to warn their patients of the risks associated with opioids before giving them a prescription. The patient would have to sign a form to acknowledge this was done. Activists came from other parts of the country to encourage lawmakers to pass this bill as other four other states have.
"We hear from so many families who, children and adults, who have led down the path of addiction by not realizing the opioids they were receiving have addictive qualities," said Angelo Valente, Prevent Opioid Abuse.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 80 percent of heroin users started by taking prescription opioids.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, 1,500 people died from opioid overdose from January to September last year.