U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday and urged Congress to pass her bipartisan legislation to help combat the opioid epidemic.
The Preventing Overprescribing for Pain Act would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue guidelines for the safe prescribing of opioids for the treatment of acute pain.
The CDC is currently only focused on guidelines for opioids prescribed to treat chronic pain. Gillibrand says many individuals become addicted to opioids after taking prescriptions for acute pain.
Acute pain includes pain following a broken bone, wisdom tooth extraction, or other surgeries. Chronic pain is long-term pain that can last weeks, months, or years.
Gillibrand says last year 1.4 million Americans started abusing opioids. 44 more people are killed each day by a drug overdose.