THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Assembly Passes 4 Bills To Prevent Heroin Abuse
Issue Date: January 15, 2014
The Wisconsin State Assembly unanimously passed four bills authored by Rep. John Nygren (R) Marinette expanding the fight against heroin abuse. The vote on Tuesday, Jan. 14, was 98-0 and now goes to the State Senate which is expected to act on them next week and if approved goes to Gov. Scott Walker for signing.
The bills have the support of Gov. Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
If the bills become law, it will allow more rescue squad responders to administer naloxone which can counter the effects of opiate overdoses.
It would grant limited immunity to anyone who calls for help for someone who has overdosed on a controlled substance.
Communities would be allowed to create drug disposal programs.
Persons picking up narcotic/opiate prescription medications would require the showing of identification.
The four bills have been name H.O.P.E. or Heroin Opiate Prevention and Education legislation.
According to the Department of Justice website, a recent survey of county coroners revealed heroin related deaths rose about 50 percent in 2013 to 199.
State Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) reported he voted for the H.O.P.E. bills. As a community, everyone needs to recognize that individual substance abuse is a problem for our entire community, Mursau said. Regardless of the substances being abused, we need to work together as a community to prevent and fight addiction and its terrible costs on our families, friends and businesses.
He said The bills are a good step, but we have a lot of more work to better protect our communities from heroin and all types of addiction.
Also responding to the passage of the four bills in the assembly, White House Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske stated, Drug overdoses are preventable, and when it comes to saving lives, naloxone is an extremely valuable tool. I commend Rep. John Nygren and other elected officials in Wisconsin for supporting legislation that will protect public health and safety.
Rep. Nygren has introduced and promoted the bills because his daughter, Cassandra (Cassie) Nygren, 24, has struggled with addiction to heroin. He has thanked his daughter for allowing her story and struggles with drugs to be made public and shared with others.