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Bills to curb "doctor shopping" signed into law

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Cheyna Roth
/
MPRN

Bills aimed at reducing the availability of opioids were signed into law today.

The new laws, among other things, require doctors to check an opioid registry before prescribing certain opioids. This is aimed at preventing people from so-called “doctor shopping."

Doctors had originally expressed reservations about having to use the registry so frequently. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says lawmakers waited until the system was faster and more up to date before requiring its use.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible to have this a normal part of the medical practice," he said at the bill signing. "This will make a huge difference.”

Schools will also now be required to include education on opioids and addictions in their health education classes. 

Some advocates praised the bills are helpful, but said there’s still more work to be done.

“It seems like every time we fix one part of this puzzle we find out ten more pieces that are missing that we need to address," said Judge Linda Davis with Families Against Narcotics. "So it’s really important that we keep our eye on the ball here.”

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R