- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Gov. Paul LePage wants to make it harder for patients to go “doctor shopping” for pain pills.

A bill LePage submitted Wednesday would require doctors to check a prescription monitoring program before prescribing opioids. The program is now voluntary.

The bill would also limit opioid prescriptions for chronic pain to 15 days, and acute pain to three days. Also, the bill would limit opioid prescriptions to 100 morphine milligram equivalents daily. Doctors would be required to attend training before being permitted to prescribe opioids.

The bill is part of an effort to combat the state’s heroin epidemic.

About 75 percent of new heroin users first become addicted to prescription opioids, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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