ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, a staggering number that has affected many lives here in Minnesota.
On Tuesday, lawmakers and activists will meet for “Opioid Awareness Day on the Hill,” where they are slated to introduce bills aimed at saving lives and preventing overdose deaths.
Five different bills that would tighten restrictions on opioids will be discussed, including a law that would make pharmacists include information about the addictive nature of opioids with the prescriptions they fill.
Another law would make pharmacists review a patient’s history in regards to controlled substances before giving out those drugs. Other proposed legislation would require patients to fill prescriptions for opioids 30 days or less after they are issued by a doctor.
The fifth piece of legislation is called the “Opioid Product Stewardship Bill” and would tax manufacturers 1 cent per morphine milligram equivalent on all schedule II opiates. Money collected would provide grants for public awareness, emergency medical services, and so on.
Opioid addiction and overdose deaths hit home for some lawmakers. Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar) lost his son, Dan, in 2011 and is scheduled to speak at the day’s events. He has since worked to provide Narcan and Narcan training to first responders in Montevideo and other rural communities.
On Tuesday afternoon, a rally will be happening in the Capitol Rotunda, featuring legislators, lawmakers, doctors and people who have lost a loved one to an overdose.
Here are links to some of the bills being introduced: