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No opioids, please: Clearing the way to refuse prescriptions

Ask The Pharmacist: Opiod Abuse And Risk Of Death In Women

HARTFORD — A growing number of states are working to help patients make it clear to medical professionals they don’t want to be prescribed powerful opioids.

Connecticut and Alaska are two of the latest considering legislation this year that would create a non-opioid directive that patients can put in their medical files. It formally notifies health care professionals the person does not want be prescribed or administered the medications.

Massachusetts and Pennsylvania passed similar legislation last year.

While patients typically have the right to make decisions about their medical care, proponents of the directives contend such documents make a patient’s wishes clear, especially in advance of medical care. Proponents say such directives also empower those patients who might fear relapsing into addiction or becoming addicted to the drugs in the first place.