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State pushes ahead in battle against heroin overdoses

Posted by wlpo on January 16, 2016

The state is working to get a handle on how many heroin overdoses there are under the requirements of a new state law.

The state health department is developing rules and procedures for collecting information on overdoses as required by the Heroin Crisis Act. Supporters of the law say its requirements will lead to a more reliable record of heroin overdoses and deaths. Both Senator Sue Rezin and then State Representative Frank Mautino voted in support of the law.

It requires hospitals to report all overdoses, fatal or not, to the state within 48 hours of treatment. Coroners must tell the state what drug caused each overdose death when that can be determined.

Advocates say better information will help the state determine the problem’s scope. There were 681 heroin deaths reported statewide in 2014.

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