LANSING — State Representative Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) has introduced legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse. House Bill 4811 strengthens the definition of prescription drug abuse in state law and requires prescribers to use the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS), among other measures.

“Prescription drug and opioid abuse can destroy lives and tear families apart, and for too long, Michigan has done very little to tackle this devastating problem,” LaVoy said. “This bill won’t completely solve the problem, but it is one more tool that authorities can use. Preventing prescription drug abuse is one of the most effective ways to prevent addiction.”

HB 4811 is the culmination of more than two years of work with the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition, the Michigan Pharmacists Association, the Michigan State Medical Society, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), the attorney general and the governor. LARA administers MAPS, which is an electronic database of Schedule 2-5 controlled substances. It will help curb the practice of “doctor shopping,” where patients seek controlled substances from multiple doctors simultaneously.

This week, LaVoy testified before a meeting of the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, which the governor formed earlier this year. He spoke about his bill and the need for it, especially in Monroe County, where a massive pill mill created a demand for heroin that authorities have struggled to contain. State Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) is a member of the task force and supports LaVoy’s bill.

“Rep. LaVoy’s bill would be a useful piece of a broader approach to curbing prescription drug abuse,” Schor said. “I appreciate the hard work he has done leading up to this bill, and I was glad to see him bring it before the task force and add it to the discussion.”