JAMESTOWN, N.Y. -- In the middle of the opioid epidemic in Western New York, a new plan is being proposed that some hope would help put an end to over prescribing medications across the country.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Jamestown Monday, to push for federal law that would put a seven day cap on initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain.
That would include broken bones and dental procedures.
The legislation is already a law at the state level, here in New York.
Gillibrand says that many people turn to heroin after becoming addicted to pain pills, that were over-prescribed after an accident or injury.
"It is outrageous how many opioids are prescribed for acute care so if someone gets their teeth pulled or break a wrist or someone is injured during sports, they shouldn't go home with a month's supply of oxycontin," Gillibrand said. "It just should not happen."
The limit would not apply to conditions such as cancer, or end of life care.
2 On Your Side spoke to Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gail Burstein about this proposal. She said she thinks it's a great idea to take what is the case here at home, and apply it across the country.
"We know we have to take some significant steps to prevent addiction, especially among young people because they are so vulnerable for addiction," Burstein said. "We also know that people don't need more than a few days of medication for an acute pain episode."
Burstein also said that the legislation would help healthcare providers make a smart choice, since they'll only be able to prescribe medication for seven days.
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