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Ohio Sets New Guidelines For Short-term Pain Prescribing

State officials have enacted new regulations to curb what they say is overprescribing of opioid painkiller medications to patients who may not really need them

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and a coalition of state medical leaders have announced guidelines meant to reduce the prescribing of painkillers for short-term pain.

The guidelines recommend using alternatives to painkillers with addictive qualities when treating pain from injuries and surgery that generally lasts less than 12 weeks.

Dr. Mary DiOrio, medical director for the Ohio Department of Health, says the guidelines also call for the minimum number of pills needed when such drugs are deemed necessary.

Dr. Michael Kelley, a senior medical director for the OhioHealth hospital system, says the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of over-prescribing.

State medical associations and licensing boards signed off on the guidelines, which stop short of requiring doctors to prescribe set numbers of drugs.

Stories from the Associated Press.