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Abilene doctors, pharmacists changing drug protocols during opioid epidemic

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - Abilene doctors and pharmacists have changed their protocols during a nationwide opioid epidemic in an attempt to limit drug abuse. 

Dr. Wesley Hamilton, a physician at Express ER, says his office no longer administers opioid prescriptions for more than a few days. 

"We tend to maybe give only two days worth of medication just to get you through until you can see your regular doctor or the specialist to see if you needed further pain management," Dr. Hamilton told KTAB. 

Pharmacist Trey Guffey says he's seen changes as well. The State of Texas now closely monitors hydrocodone and other opioid prescriptions. 

"Hydrocodone is the most commonly prescribed one. It used to not be a C2 which is the highest level of security for medications, it was a C3. It could be called in, it could be handwritten on regular prescription pads," Guffey says. 

At Abilene's Texas Tech School of Pharmacy, students are already preparing for the opioid fight, taking required classes for drug abuse with a special focus on opioids. 

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