A bipartisan group of legislators held a press conference this week to unveil legislation to help prevent opioid addiction and support children subjected to abuse or neglect. The state pays for the legislation with an increase in licensing fees on opioid manufacturers and distributors.
Highlights of the legislation include:
- Funding for county-administered social services to help kids who have been subjected to child abuse or neglect due to parental addiction.
- 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.
In order to accomplish these goals, the bill creates an Opiate Stewardship Advisory Council, made up of legislators and medical and health experts, tasked with developing a statewide effort to curb opioid addiction.