UPDATE: Reynolds signs opioid bill intended to prevent overdose - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Reynolds signs opioid bill intended to prevent overdose deaths

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It's what advocates have been calling for -- Governor Reynolds signed the opioid bill into law.

"With this legislation, we're taking the first step to reverse this heart-wrenching trend," she said at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque.

The public health crisis has been tearing up families. According to state officials, there were more than 200 opioid-related deaths reported in Iowa last year.

The new laws will make getting opioids a bit tougher.

"An important step in addressing the opioid epidemic is reducing the number of opioids prescribed in Iowa, and this legislation helps prevent doctor shopping and over prescribing by requiring all prescribers to register for and use the prescription monitoring program."

There will also be penalties for medical providers who over-prescribe the drugs.

In addition, the bill has a Good Samaritan provision. It protects those who call 911 to get help for someone having an opioid overdose.

Although the bill signing is an accomplishment, some people say it doesn't go far enough to really solve the problem.

Reynolds telling KWWL, it's a step in the right direction.

"This is a significant step. I said in the condition of the state, you know one of the top things you can do when it comes to opioid prescription is the number of pills prescribed," she said.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law requiring doctors to screen patients' risk of addiction before prescribing some painkillers.

The law is part of the state's effort to begin addressing its growing opioid epidemic. Reynolds signed it Monday at a Dubuque medical center that treats opioid addiction.

A good Samaritan provision will also give legal immunity to anyone who calls 911 to report an overdose.

Medical experts warn Iowa must be careful to avoid a spike in heroin and other illegal drug use, which some other states have experienced as an unintended consequence of limiting opioid medication.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says preliminary data shows the state had 98 deaths linked to heroin last year among 309 overall opioid-linked deaths.

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To read the full bill, see the document below: 

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