Gov. Bill Haslam signed two pieces of legislation and issued an executive order Friday to support TN Together, a plan focused on ending the opioid crisis in Tennessee, according to a media release from the Office of the Governor.
The TN Together plan centers on three areas: prevention, treatment and law enforcement.
The first piece of legislation will limit both the length of time and the dosage new patients would receive for opioid prescriptions.
Initial prescriptions will be limited to a three-day supply. There will be reasonable exceptions to the limit for major surgical procedures, as well as exemptions for cancer and hospice treatment, sickle cell disease and treatment in certain licensed facilities.
The second piece of legislation will better track, monitor and penalize the use and unlawful distribution of opioids by adding synthetic versions of the drug fentanyl to the controlled substance schedules, among other updates.
It also creates incentives for offenders to complete intensive substance use treatment programs while they are incarcerated.
The executive order will establish a special commission to create recommendations for evidence-based pain and addiction medicine competencies or ways to measure knowledge, skills, and abilities, by late this summer for the the state's medical and health care practitioner schools to adopt.
Part of this is the Navigator program. According to Haslam, 11 advocates will respond to 30 hospitals across the state. They will identify at-risk people in emergency rooms and help connect them to the treatments they need.
The state budget for 2018-2019 also includes more than $16 million in new funding for treatment and services to fight opioid addiction.
More details on TN Together, as well as resources for those suffering from addiction, are at tn.gov/opiods.