Passed overwhelmingly, legislation targets multi-faceted approach in addressing opioid epidemic
ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota State Senate overwhelmingly passed on a bipartisan vote legislation co-authored by Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) that tackles the ongoing opioid addiction crisis through a multi-faceted approach. The bill touches each level of the legal opiate distribution chain and creates a new Opiate Epidemic Response Account to fund initiatives, locally and statewide, that address opioid addiction in Minnesota.
“The opioid epidemic has ravaged families across our state,” said Senator Draheim. “Nationally, it is now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car accident. While this legislation is not perfect, it preserves physician and pharmacist discretion while funding local programs that directly impact families and individuals impacted by opioid addiction.”
After passing the Senate, the bill now heads to a conference committee with the House of Representatives where differences in the legislation passed by each respective body will be resolved.
“As the legislative process moves forward, I hope to be involved in the conference committee process,” added Senator Draheim. “By working together across the aisle, we can combat the opioid crisis with the aim of saving lives across our state.”
Highlights of the legislation passed by the Senate include:
- Significant funding for county-administered social services to help kids who have been subjected to child abuse or neglect due to parental addiction.
- Stronger restrictions on opiate prescriptions and refills.
- Prescription monitoring program to prevent overprescribing and “doctor shopping.”
- Public awareness, prevention, and education programs.
- Statewide access to effective treatment and recovery services.
- Continuing education for opioid prescribers.
- Research and development of evidence-based treatment programs.
- Stronger reporting by pharmaceutical companies.