Kentucky's new get-tough law to limit prescription drug abuse goes into effect
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A new law in Kentucky aims to limit the supply of prescription painkillers as the state battles a prescription drug epidemic.
House Bill 333 in the 2017 session set a benchmark of a three-day limit for opioids prescribed for acute pain with certain exceptions.
Trafficking in any amount of fentanyl - a painkiller now frequently imported for illegal street sales - and drugs derived from fentanyl as well as carfentanil - a large animal anesthetic 10,000 times more potent than morphine - would carry up to 10 years in prison. Trafficking over certain amounts of the drug could carry even longer sentences.
Over the past decade, the number of Kentuckians who die from drug overdoses has steadily climbed to more than 1,000 each year.
The new painkiller law passed in this year's legislative session by the state's new Republican majority took effect Thursday.