Section 3719.061 | Prescription of opioids to minors.
(A)(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Another adult authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment" means an adult to whom a minor's parent or guardian has given written authorization to consent to the minor's medical treatment.
(b) "Medical emergency" means a situation that in a prescriber's good faith medical judgment creates an immediate threat of serious risk to the life or physical health of a minor.
(c) "Minor" means an individual under eighteen years of age who is not emancipated.
(2) For purposes of this section, an individual under eighteen years of age is emancipated only if the individual has married, has entered the armed services of the United States, has become employed and self-sustaining, or otherwise has become independent from the care and control of the individual's parent, guardian, or custodian.
(B) Except as provided in division (C) of this section, before issuing for a minor the first prescription in a single course of treatment for an opioid analgesic, regardless of whether the dosage is modified during that course of treatment, a prescriber shall do all of the following:
(1) As part of the prescriber's examination of the minor, assess whether the minor has ever suffered, or is currently suffering, from mental health or substance abuse disorders and whether the minor has taken or is currently taking prescription drugs for treatment of those disorders;
(2) Discuss with the minor and the minor's parent, guardian, or another adult authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment all of the following:
(a) The risks of addiction and overdose associated with opioid analgesics;
(b) The increased risk of addiction to controlled substances of individuals suffering from both mental and substance abuse disorders;
(c) The dangers of taking opioid analgesics with benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants;
(d) Any other information in the patient counseling information section of the labeling for the opioid analgesic required under 21 C.F.R. 201.57(c)(18).
(3) Obtain written consent for the prescription from the minor's parent, guardian, or, subject to division (E) of this section, another adult authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment.
The prescriber shall record the consent on a form, which shall be known as the "Start Talking!" consent form. The form shall be separate from any other document the prescriber uses to obtain informed consent for other treatment provided to the minor. The form shall contain all of the following:
(a) The name and quantity of the opioid analgesic being prescribed and the amount of the initial dose;
(b) A statement indicating that a controlled substance is a drug or other substance that the United States drug enforcement administration has identified as having a potential for abuse;
(c) A statement certifying that the prescriber discussed with the minor and the minor's parent, guardian, or another adult authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment the matters described in division (B)(2) of this section;
(d) The number of refills, if any, authorized by the prescription;
(e) The signature of the minor's parent, guardian, or another adult authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment and the date of signing.
(C)(1) The requirements in division (B) of this section do not apply if the minor's treatment with an opioid analgesic meets any of the following criteria:
(a) The treatment is associated with or incident to a medical emergency.
(b) The treatment is associated with or incident to surgery, regardless of whether the surgery is performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis.
(c) In the prescriber's professional judgment, fulfilling the requirements of division (B) of this section with respect to the minor's treatment would be a detriment to the minor's health or safety.
(d) Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the treatment is rendered in a hospital, emergency facility, ambulatory surgical facility, nursing home, pediatric respite care program, residential care facility, freestanding rehabilitation facility, or similar institutional facility.
(2) The requirements in division (B) of this section do not apply to a prescription for an opioid analgesic that a prescriber issues to a minor at the time of discharge from a facility or other location described in division (C)(1)(d) of this section.
(D) The exemption in division (C)(1)(d) of this section does not apply to treatment rendered in a prescriber's office that is located on the premises of or adjacent to a facility or other location described in that division.
(E) If the individual who signs the consent form required by division (B)(3) of this section is another adult authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment, the prescriber shall prescribe not more than a single, seventy-two-hour supply and indicate on the prescription the quantity that is to be dispensed pursuant to the prescription.
(F) A signed "Start Talking!" consent form obtained under this section shall be maintained in the minor's medical record.
Available Versions of this Section
- September 17, 2014 – House Bill 314 - 130th General Assembly [ View September 17, 2014 Version ]
- March 19, 2015 – Amended by Senate Bill 276 - 130th General Assembly [ View March 19, 2015 Version ]
- March 22, 2020 – Amended by Senate Bill 229 - 132nd General Assembly [ View March 22, 2020 Version ]
- April 6, 2023 – Amended by House Bill 281 (GA 134), House Bill 558 (GA 134) [ View April 6, 2023 Version ]