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Committee Approves Heroin Legislation

THE WISCONSIN ASSEMBLY'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A TRIO OF BILLS TODAY - DESIGNED TO COMBAT HEROIN ABUSE AND ELIMINATE LEFT-OVER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.
Madison, Wi. -

In Madison today, State Representative John Nygren introduced his 'Hope Agenda' - short for Heroin Opiate Prevention and Education.

The 4-part legislation would allow medical personnel and first responders to administer the drug Narcan, which counter-acts life-threatening problems caused by an opiate overdose.
        "EMT's right now are allowed to carry and administer," says Nygren. "But the basic level EMT's are not. So this would open it up to basic level."

The second bill would provide immunity to anyone who calls 9-1-1 to report a narcotics overdose. The third, would allow municipalities to hold prescription drug collection drives, and the fourth would require photo identification to pick up class 2 or class 3 prescription drugs.

        "We've worked with stakeholders, law enforcement, prosecution, other advocates for folks with addiction," says Nygren. "So we've done our homework on this."

Nygren holds a personal connection to the legislation, having nearly lost his daughter to a heroin overdose in 2009. Drug addiction counselors say opiate related fatalities, are becoming far too common.

        "Whatever we can do to prevent a child dying from a drug overdose would be a good thing," says Clinical Supervisor Tom Ritchie.

        "This is going to be, in my daughters case, a life long battle that she's going to have to deal with," says Nygren. "I think as a society in Wisconsin, this isa long road ahead of us, but we're at least making some progress."

The full assembly will consider the bills on Tuesday.



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