COVINGTON, Ky. -- A new Kentucky law is designed to take on the state's heroin epidemic by targeting addiction before it even begins.
Painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocone and fentanyl are now restricted to a three-day supply, under House bill 333.
Gov. Matt Bevin recently signed the bill into law as part of efforts to curb painkiller abuse, which some addiction specialists say is a gateway to heroin use.
Lawmakers believe limiting longterm access to the highly addictive drugs could be benefitial.
"This is not meant to cut down on prescriptions for legitimate pain," state Rep. Kim Moser said. "But we just want to hit the pause button on those initial prescriptions, especially for opioid-naive patients."
It will mean more trips to the pharmacy for most people precribed painkillers, though the law does include exceptions for longer prescriptions for patients with cancer or chronic issues.
As part of the law, it's also now a felony to illegally sell or distribute fentanyl or carfentanil. The crime could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
"We really want to get the true traffickers, but help those that are suffering from addiction," Moser said.