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Senator Ragan speaks of legislative efforts to combat opioid crisis in Iowa


This news story was published on April 27, 2018.
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The following is a legislative update from Senator Amanda of Mason City:

Senator Amanda Ragan

Our country has seen a spike in deaths from drug overdoses in recent years.
In 2015, Iowa had 59 opioid overdose deaths and 163 opioid-related deaths; in 2016, that number rose to 86 overdose deaths and 180 opioid-related deaths; and in 2017, we saw 99 overdose deaths and 202 opioid-related deaths.

The abuse and misuse of opioids costs our state $748 per Iowan per year for health care, substance abuse treatment, criminal justice, lost productivity and fatalities.

The Legislature can help tackle the crisis by passing safeguards for prescribing opioids. Senate President Charles Schneider said on a recent episode of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” that a bill, which won unanimous approval in the Iowa House, will be taken up in the Senate before we adjourn for the year.

Under the HF 2377:

· Prescribers must register for Iowa’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).
· Opioid prescriptions must be entered into the PMP within one business day.
· All opioids must be prescribed electronically by 2020.
· Annual reports will detail prescribers’ history of prescribing controlled substances.
· Those who prescribe too much of a controlled substance may face penalties.
· Additional drugs are added to Iowa’s schedules of controlled substances.
· Those seeking help for themselves or others will be protected from prosecution.
· A surcharge on registration fees may be used to pay for the program.

Because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths happen outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home, the Surgeon General encourages family and friends of those at risk for an overdose to keep an antidote on hand.

In a recent update, the Department of Public Health reported that Iowa has 21 residential treatment providers with a total of 669 beds; in 2017, treatment providers helped more than 45,000 people; and another 30,000 Iowans received early intervention services. To find nearby treatment, go to YourLifeIowa.org or call 855-581-8111.

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4 Responses to Senator Ragan speaks of legislative efforts to combat opioid crisis in Iowa

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 1, 2018 at 7:33 am

    My gosh the hair and purple scarf !! It is the Joker !!
    Send up the Bat signal !!!

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Gotham is not safe with the Joker on the loose !!!

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    The only way to shut this off is at the source. The Mexican border must be shut down to prevent illegal drugs from South America and Chine\a from being smuggled in.

  4. Avatar

    Craig Eckhardt Reply Report comment

    April 28, 2018 at 8:21 am

    If the legislative efforts to combat the opioid crisis in Iowa, aren’t any more successful or deliberate than they have been so far to create the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, we won’t stand a chance.