The controlled substance abuse prevention act will take effect in Nevada on January 1, 2018. These new measures are going to affect all patients and prescribers who handle controlled substances to treat pain. The new law also promotes a stronger conversation between patient and provider about the risks and benefits of opioids.

Experts say it will prioritize the safety and responsibility of patients. This will start with the prescribers helping to prevent addiction by monitoring the process more closely.

The initiative is called Prescribe 365, and it takes aim at solving Nevada’s prescription drug crisis.

"Prescribe 365 is going to help policy makers and regulators defining and identifying over prescribing,” said Elyse Monroy, the Health and Human Services Policy Analyst.

The program begins with a list of factors that doctors should consider before prescribing a controlled substance to a patient. If the physician wants to move forward after the assessment, there's a 14 day limit for all initial prescriptions. The patient must also sign an informed consent form.

"That meaningful discussion needs to be had around what the treatment plan is and what the alternatives for treatment include,” said Stephanie Woodard, the senior advisor of behavioral health.

If the patient continues using a controlled substance for more than 30 consecutive days, they must then enter into a prescription medication agreement with their practitioner.

“The medication agreement is to make sure that the patient understands what requirements the prescriber is going to have for ongoing controlled substance treatment,” said Monroy.           

Prescribing after 90 days will require the practitioner to look into an evidence-based diagnosis so the patient can understand what's causing their pain. No doctor should prescribe a controlled substance to a patient who has already received a year's worth of treatment in a 365 day period.

“This is really to protect the patient, but also the prescriber, so this is establishing really a standard of care,” said Woodard.

“We heard from patients who said, if someone would’ve just explained to me the risks, if I would've just known the risks of addiction, I might not have taken these,” said Monroy.

The Department of Health and Human Services has gathered a list of resources that can help doctors and patients better comply with the new law. That info can be found at