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Oregon lawmakers try to stem opioid epidemic

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Seeking to stem the opioid epidemic in Oregon, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a proposed law on Monday that would provide safe-use recommendations to those who prescribe such drugs.

However, provisions in the bill that would have limited many prescriptions to a seven-day supply and would have criminalized improperly prescribing opioids were earlier stripped by the House Health Care Committee. The Oregon Medical Association had lobbied against some of the provisions.

More than 15,000 people died in America from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Oregon Health Authority says an average of three Oregonians die every week from prescription opioid overdose.

Now that it has passed the House, the bill next goes to the Oregon Senate.

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This corrects that no seven-day supply limit is imposed via the bill.

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