Governors from across the country have backed new measures to tackle the explosion of heroin and opioid abuse and overdoses in the U.S.
During a weekend session of the National Governors' Association, the leaders' health committee accepted a proposal to come up with new guidelines on prescribing the painkillers that are abused and often lead to heroin abuse. The New York Times reports the new restrictions would likely put number limits on prescriptions. Governors told the Times they had faced pushback from doctors when they have sought to address the number of prescriptions written.
In a joint statement released on Saturday, leaders from the National Governors Association and the American Medical Association committed to increasing their efforts to fight the epidemic in their respective states. "To end this national epidemic that claims the lives of so many of our family members and fellow citizens, governors, physicians, state legislatures and other stakeholders must join together to take action," the statement reads. "We must demonstrate the leadership it takes to make meaningful changes that will have a lasting impact."
The National Governors Association is scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House on Monday, where the topic of heroin will likely come up again. The president has made addressing the epidemic a priority in his final year in office. His 2017 Budget proposal included a request for $1 billion to fight the heroin epidemic.