State Rep. KC Tomlinson joined a majority of her colleagues on the House Human Services Committee to pass legislation to improve treatment for those with drug and alcohol addictions.
“Treatment is a lifeline for those suffering from addictions,” said Tomlinson, who is chair of the Human Services Subcommittee on Drug and Alcohol. “It’s why we must make the process easier and safer for addicts and their families. The package of bills we passed today will accomplish this.”
House Bill 741, also known as Justin’s Law, would require treatment facilities to contact the listed emergency contact of the recoverer should he or she leave under eviction or against medical advice.
“For many, this could be the difference between life and death,” Tomlinson said. “Loved ones must be alerted when their family member has stepped out of recovery and into potential danger.”
House Bill 944 would require inpatient treatment facilities to notify the emergency contact designated by a patient as soon as possible, but not more than 12 hours, after a patient leaves a treatment facility against medical advice.
House Bill 220 would amend the law so a person does not need to test positive for drugs in order to begin addiction treatment.
This bill stems from an unfortunate incident when a young man seeking treatment had been clean, but needed to test positive in order to commence treatment for his substance use disorder.
“Unfortunately, he went out and used an opioid in an effort to provide a positive drug test,” Tomlinson said. “That was the overdose that killed him.”
All three bills move to the whole House for a vote.