Raimondo signs legislation strengthening State's response to overdose crisis

Raimondo Signs Legislation Strengthening State's Response to Overdose Crisis

PROVIDENCE - Governor Gina M. Raimondo Wednesday announced she has signed 82 bills, including three aimed to combat Rhode Island's overdose crisis. Last week, Raimondo signed an Executive Order directing additional action to support treatment and recovery services and announced a partnership with CVS Health to open an Opioid Treatment Center of Excellence in Woonsocket. 

Among the bills signed into law by the Governor to help address opioid addiction is legislation that enables the disclosure of information contained in prescription drug monitoring databases to a limited number of qualified law enforcement agencies for drug diversion investigations; a bill that expands the type of pharmaceuticals which may be prescribed using electronic prescriptions while ensuring patient privacy; and legislation requiring health care professionals to discuss the risks of addiction with their patients or parent and guardians of patients when issuing opioid prescriptions.

"Twelve hundred Rhode Islanders have died from overdose in the last five years. The opioid epidemic is the single greatest public health crisis of our time," said Governor Raimondo. "To end this crisis, we need to swing at every pitch possible. Access to data is one of the most important tools we have. These bills will require prescribers to prescribe controlled substances electronically and enable state and federal law enforcement to investigate pill diversion and other organized criminal activity. Every Rhode Island community has been touched by this crisis and I'll take every step I can to fight back."

Governor Raimondo joined other governors, including Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, last week at the National Governors Association summer meeting urging stronger action to combat the crisis. Rhode Island's response to the overdose epidemic has earned national acclaim for its focus on prevention and treatment.

In other actions, the Governor vetoed a bill that would classify any network charter school that serves grades Kindergarten through 8th grade as two schools, requiring two charters. She also vetoed legislation that automatically extends local labor contracts indefinitely if a new agreement is not reached. The bill raised near unanimous concern from the mayors and town managers throughout Rhode Island.

(release from Governor's Office