Governor signs bills aimed at combatting opioid overdoses

Updated 10:58 am, Thursday, July 20, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed three bills into law aimed at combatting the opioid overdose epidemic.

The laws allow law enforcement access to an electronic database of prescription painkillers without a warrant; require health care professionals to discuss the risks of addiction with patients when writing opioid prescriptions; and expand the type of pharmaceuticals which can be prescribed using electronic prescriptions, while ensuring patient privacy.

The Democratic governor says the opioid epidemic is the “single greatest public health crisis of our time,” with 1,200 Rhode Island residents dying of overdoses in five years.

Raimondo and other U.S. governors attending the National Governors Association meeting in Providence last week said they’re frustrated more progress hasn’t been made in combatting the epidemic and they share a sense of urgency in addressing it.

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