‘It's a crisis': AG wants new opioid laws

Bob Ferguson is planning a three-pronged approach to cut down the epidemic in Washington state.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is releasing a report to recommend policies aimed at reducing the supply of opioids flowing into the state.

The AG, along with the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, developed the report based on information shared at the Summit on Reducing the Supply of Opioids in Washington State in June.

"There are enough opioids in our state for every man woman and child to have a 16-day supply," said Ferguson. "It’s a crisis."

The report suggests three main policies.

-- Add new prescription limits. The proposed law limits initial opioid prescriptions to a three-day supply for those under 21 and a seven-day supply for those 21 and older.

-- Enhance the Prescription-monitoring program by requiring health care providers check the state database that can flag misuse or dangerous prescribing patterns.

-- Give the attorney general's office more power by broadening the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Ferguson wants to have more law enforcement powers to help crack down on so-called "pill mills."

"Opioids are really harming our families and individuals and communities," he said. "It's time to do something about it. And frankly, Washington state is behind."

The new report will need the governor and state lawmakers to enact it into law. The next 60-day legislative session begins in January.

© 2017 KING-TV


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