Nebraska Revised Statute 38-1,145

Chapter 38


Opiates; legislative findings; limitation on certain prescriptions; practitioner; duties.

(1) For purposes of this section, practitioner means a physician, a physician assistant, a dentist, a pharmacist, a podiatrist, an optometrist, a certified nurse midwife, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, and a nurse practitioner.

(2) The Legislature finds that:

(a) In most cases, acute pain can be treated effectively with nonopiate or nonpharmacological options;

(b) With a more severe or acute injury, short-term use of opiates may be appropriate;

(c) Initial opiate prescriptions for children should not exceed seven days for most situations, and two or three days of opiates will often be sufficient;

(d) If a patient needs medication beyond three days, the prescriber should reevaluate the patient prior to issuing another prescription for opiates; and

(e) Physical dependence on opiates can occur within only a few weeks of continuous use, so great caution needs to be exercised during this critical recovery period.

(3) A practitioner who is prescribing an opiate as defined in section 28-401 for a patient younger than eighteen years of age for outpatient use for an acute condition shall not prescribe more than a seven-day supply except as otherwise provided in subsection (4) of this section and, if the practitioner has not previously prescribed an opiate for such patient, shall discuss with a parent or guardian of such patient, or with the patient if the patient is an emancipated minor, the risks associated with use of opiates and the reasons why the prescription is necessary.

(4) If, in the professional medical judgment of the practitioner, more than a seven-day supply of an opiate is required to treat such patient's medical condition or is necessary for the treatment of pain associated with a cancer diagnosis or for palliative care, the practitioner may issue a prescription for the quantity needed to treat such patient's medical condition or pain. The practitioner shall document the medical condition triggering the prescription of more than a seven-day supply of an opiate in the patient's medical record and shall indicate that a nonopiate alternative was not appropriate to address the medical condition.

(5) This section does not apply to controlled substances prescribed pursuant to section 28-412.

(6) This section terminates on January 1, 2029.