The state repealed a law in 2015 called The Intractable Pain Act. That law said a doctor who refused to prescribe opioids to patients who requested the treatment was legally obligated to inform the patient of a physician who specialized in the treatment of severe chronic pain with methods that included opioids.

New laws were also established for pain clinics which subject the offices to regular inspections and that medical directors of clinics be pain management specialists. Speaker Beth Harwell also formed an Ad Hoc Task Force on opioid abuse. That task force offered a number of recommendations in the areas of treatment, prevention and policy.

Harwell said in a press release the state intends to act on those recommendations in January when the General Assembly reconvenes. She said the president’s declaration was a step in the right direction and called combating the opioid crisis a “marathon, not a sprint.”

Local district attorneys generals have also filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies seeking injunctions to stop the flow of pain pills to the state.