TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A new law is taking aim at Ohio's heroin epidemic.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman introduced new legislation to help cut down on over-prescribing opioids by requiring more states to use a prescription database.
Dr. Rashid Kahlil has seen the impact of opioid abuse first hand. He says what starts out as pain treatment, can quickly get out of hand.
"All of the people who are using these medications, they tend to think that they are strong enough to regulate it themselves," Dr. Kahlil said. "They will not get out of control."
Dr. Kahlil says many times people get addicted because they are prescribed too many pills at a time.
"But these pills are very very powerful," Dr. Kahlil said. "They will get over you. They will get control. We have lost so many people. "
That is why Dr. Kahlil supports the bill being introduced to the Senate by Sen. Portman to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs for all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and make that information available to other states.
Dr. Kahlil treats a number of patients from Michigan and other states. He says the database will help all doctors identify patients who are getting pills from multiple doctors.
Right now, other databases aren't compatible.
"Ninety-nine percent of the time, it doesn't pull any information," Dr. Kahlil said. "And I know I'm writing the narcotics for them, I know they are filling it in Michigan. I know the pharmacy. I can call them but somehow that Michigan pharmacy information is not being relayed to the Ohio"
He also says a law will help put pressure on other physicians to use what he calls "common sense" prescribing like he does.
"Of course it is some additional work but at what cost? You know, we end up saving lives," Dr. Kahlil said.
Mercy Health does offer treatment for patients who are addicted to opioids or other drugs.