Bipartisan legislation to help end opioid crisis introduced in the Minn. Senate

This Aug. 29, 2018 photo shows an arrangement of prescription Oxycodone pills in New York. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
This Aug. 29, 2018 photo shows an arrangement of prescription Oxycodone pills in New York.

January 24, 2019 04:47 PM

Two Minnesota senators introduced legislation Thursday in an effort to help end the state's opioid crisis.

Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center) and Sen. Chris Eaton (D-Brooklyn Center) introduced the bipartisan legislation intended to create an Opiate Stewardship Advisory Council, which would consist of legislators and medical experts to develop ways to fight opioid addiction in Minnesota.

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"Every day, more Minnesotans die of overdoses, more children are abused and neglected, and more futures are ruined because of an addiction that is too strong to fight alone," Sen. Rosen said in a statement. "This is an opportunity to save the lives and the futures of those who are still here. We have a moral obligation to help end this crisis."

KSTP's opioids in Minnesota coverage

Eaton said the loss of his child to opioid addiction propelled him toward creating legislation to curb the opioid epidemic.

"We've been working hard to strengthen existing laws relating to the life-saving drug, Narcan," he said in a statement. "But it just isn't enough. Despite our many efforts, Minnesota's opioid epidemic has continued to grow."

The senators seek funding for county-administered services to help children neglected as a result of parental addiction; increased prescription monitoring; prevention, awareness and education programs; stronger reporting from pharmaceutical companies; and development of "evidence-based treatment programs" as part of the proposed legislation.

The senators said funding for the legislation would come from increased licensing fees on opioid manufacturers and distributors.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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