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Gov. Walker signs several anti-heroin bills

MARINETTE, Wis. (WFRV)-- New legislation was signed into law Monday aimed to crack down on the state’s growing heroin problem.

Gov. Scott Walker signed seven anti-heroin bills.

The Governor said heroin is a dangerous tend and an escalating problem in Wisconsin.

“Heroin addiction does not discriminate, and we have to take action to protect our friends, family members, and neighbors, who need help,” he said while signing one of the bills in Marinette.

One of the bills requires emergency responders to know how to administer an-anti opiate injection called Narcan.

 “A person that’s really strung out on an opiate like morphine or heroine we’ll give them Narcan and they’ll wake up,” said Batallion Chief Ed Jarosz of the Green Bay Fire Department.

Administering Narcan will help restore a person’s bodily functions for 30 minutes, Jorosz said,—that’s enough time to get them to a hospital.

 “It’s very critical to get them back because if you don’t get them back right away you may not get them back at all,” he said.

Narcan training is just one of many anti-heroin bills Gov. Walker signed into law Monday.

Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, whose daughter battled heroin addiction and helped write the bill, said, “These seven bills are an important first step in the right direction.  I’m proud to help bring the issue of opiate addiction to the forefront in Wisconsin, and I look forward to building upon the foundation we've created with the H.O.P.E. Agenda in the future."

Another bill guarantees immunity for anyone who calls 911 to report an overdose.  

 “They’re not going to get help if they don’t have someone to call in for them,” said UW-Green Bay Counselor, Theresa Weise.

Although, there’s never been a heroin overdose on campus, according to Weise, she said she’s worked with patients in the community that have been left behind while overdosing.  

 “That is always their main concern—is getting into trouble for breaking the law or being around someone where this happens so I think it will make a big difference.”

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