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2 bills to address Rhode Island opioid crisis introduced

March 6, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A top legislative leader in Rhode Island has introduced two bills he says will help address the opioid overdose epidemic in the state.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says his first proposal would limit most first-time opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply and limit all juvenile prescriptions to a seven-day supply. The bill provides exceptions for treatment related to cancer and other serious conditions. He says many people who become opioid dependent start with a legitimate prescription.

His second bill would add law enforcement and emergency medical personnel to the Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Act, which protects people from civil or criminal liability when they help someone overdosing.

According to preliminary numbers from the state Health Department, there were 287 accidental drug overdose deaths in the state last year.

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