As part of Governor John Bel Edwards legislative agenda for the upcoming session, a bill has been filed to help address the growing opioid epidemic in Louisiana.

River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot co-authored the measure and says the legislation would limit first time opioid prescriptions for acute pain to a seven day supply.

“You have these pain doctors making a lot of money and the byproduct is overdoses and death and addiction, which destroys families and takes people out of the workforce.”

Talbot says this measure would only apply to acute pain, not chronic pain, cancer or individuals on palliative care. He says the Bayou State has more opioid prescriptions than people in the state and once doctors cut them off, addicts turn to harder drugs.

“Heroin overdoses have spiked everywhere in the big cities in Louisiana and throughout the rural areas. Heroin is so much cheaper but it’s also so much purer and people are doing too much and overdosing on that.”

Another measure filed by Talbot to tackle the opioid problem is modeled after a Texas law addressing worker’s compensation. Talbot says the Lone Star state has done a great job getting injured people back to work and off opioid medications. He says this is a bigger problem than many think.

“When you have employees get a legitimate injury to no fault of their own, they get addicted to opioids, they don’t come back to work. That hurts businesses, that hurts families.”