Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Opioid education bill passes House

A bill to require lessons for public school students from elementary through high school about the dangers of prescription pain killers and addiction cleared the House Wednesday by a vote of 97-0.

Recommendations for a prescription opioid abuse prevention curriculum would be developed by the state Office of Drug Control Policy and published on the Kentucky Department of Education’s website for school districts to access under House Bill 145, sponsored by Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville.

“We’re facing a crisis situation,” Tipton told the House before the vote on HB 145. This bill “will not eliminate this problem but I truly believe that it’s a step in the right direction of providing the information and education our young people need.”

Prescription opioids—including drugs like morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl—are strong and frequently addictive painkillers used to treat moderate to severe pain. They have also been tied to dozens of overdose deaths, according to news reports.

HB 145 now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

For audio clips on this and other topics from lawmakers as well as news photos from the current session, visit the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission online. Video clips from the current session, as well as archived videos, are available on the LRC's YouTube channel. To view or sign up for news releases from the current session, visit the LRC's news page.  A virtual tour of the Capitol is also available online.