New bill would require Georgians to get a new prescription for controlled substances every five days


Emma North

The new bill would require people with ADHD to see their doctor and get a new prescription every five days.

I sincerely thought it was fake. I was scrolling on the news app when I saw the headline, “Georgia bill would require new ADHD prescriptions every 5 days.” I thought maybe it was satire, until I noticed it was by CNN.

The bill in question, bill 81 SB, was drafted by Sen. Renee Unterman in late January with the intent to curb the abuse of prescription opioid painkillers and stop the state’s growing opioid epidemic, a noble cause. The bill though is somewhat controversial because one of its provisions will limit doctors’ ability to write prescriptions of controlled substances to only lasting five days. Controlled substances include common ADHD medications which are not opioids, and the bill makes no exclusions for people with ADHD. “What it does is prevent doctor shopping. It prevents these legal drugs from becoming street drugs and sold at exorbitant prices,” Senator Unterman said.

But the idea of a getting a new prescription every five days is not only stressful but practically impossible. It puts an incredible logistical strain on doctors to find the time to see all of their patients who need controlled substances in five days, every five days, as well as require people with ADHD to somehow find the time and money to get a new prescription every 5 days. It is so impractical it’s laughable.

Senators are saying that this provision of the bill will most likely be changed, but as someone who lives with ADHD I’m still concerned. “There is no organization specifically focused on ADHD that’s advocating and lobbying on a local level,” said Elaine Taylor-Klaus, who runs the company which helps coach parents of children with ADHD, “unless there’s somebody watching out very closely, this is one of those obscure pieces of legislation that could pass without anybody realizing what the full implications are.” Bills like 81 SB drastically affect so many people; the fact that not many people knew about this bill until recently is scary. 6.1% of Georgia youths have ADHD and take medication to manage the symptoms; if this bill were to pass as it currently is without revision thousands of Georgians and their families would be affected.


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