RALEIGH - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed the STOP Act into law Thursday after it passed the House and the Senate unanimously.

STOP stands for Strengthen Opioid misuse Prevention Act and aims to reduce drug addiction and overdoses through smarter prescribing practices by doctors and dentists.

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Attorney General Josh Stein notes the STOP act is a critical step in strengthening the fight against opioid and drug abuse.

“The opioid epidemic is tearing families apart all across our state," Stein said. "People are dying every day – and those who live do so in the despair of addiction. We won’t get out of this crisis quickly, but the STOP Act is an important first step."

“Through requiring better prescribing and smarter dispensing, this legislation will prevent people from becoming addicted to opioids in the first place. There are simply too many of these dangerous drugs in people’s medicine cabinets today. The STOP Act will save lives by reducing that number."

A bill will use a controlled substances reporting system database, which will show prescribers' patients other recent prescriptions.

The act sets a 5-day limit for initial prescription for acute pain and 7-day limit for post-operative pain. The bill also requires e-prescribing to eliminate prescription pad theft and forgeries.