Update: West Virginia Senate votes for wider overdose reporting

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's Senate has voted to require hospital emergency departments as well as emergency responders to report all suspected or confirmed drug overdoses.

The bill passed unanimously Monday also would require all emergency responders to carry the antidote for opioid overdoses while establishing a four-year community pilot project aimed at creating a model for addressing the state's drug crisis.

It follows recommendations by health officials that included limiting initial painkiller prescriptions, currently addressed in other legislation.

Last week, Gov. Jim Justice said the state plans to spend at least $10 million to create a model in two counties yet to be selected.

One county will be in the southern part of the state, the other either in the north or in the Eastern Panhandle.

West Virginia recorded 884 fatal overdoses in 2016.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


West Virginia health officials have proposed limiting initial opioid prescriptions, increasing oversight to stop inappropriate prescribing and requiring all emergency responders carry overdose antidotes in a state response to the drug state crisis that killed 884 people in 2016.

The plan comes from a panel of public health experts from West Virginia and Johns Hopkins University with public and state agency input.

A dozen state senators already have introduced to generally limit initial doctor and dentist prescriptions of opiates for acute, or short-term, pain to seven days. The bill would limit those painkiller prescriptions to three days for minors and for emergency-room outpatients.

More than 30,000 West Virginians are already in drug treatment. The state has the nation's highest drug overdose death rate.

The report is posted online at http://dhhr.wv.gov/bph/Pages/default.aspx .

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
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