As the state rolls out an awareness campaign aimed at preventing heroin abuse, one Wisconsin lawmaker is talking about how addiction impacted his family.
Republican state Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) says his daughter Cassie got hooked on heroin in high school, and her life quickly took a turn for the worse. “That pretty girl, who was once a straight ‘A’ student and had lofty dreams for her future, began not coming home at night, not going to school, and her average attitude was noticeably different.”
Nygren says his daughter eventually overdosed, and was purple when paramedics revived her. She survived, but Nygren says she spent time in jail and still struggles with her heroin addiction.
The Marinette Republican is backing several bills in the Legislature aimed at making it harder to access prescription pain killers, which are often a gateway drug to heroin abuse. One bill would require a photo ID when picking up the drugs from a pharmacy, while another would make it easier to expand collection programs for expired medications.
Additional legislation would give people partial immunity if they call 911 to help someone suffering from an overdose and also make it easier for first responders to administer medication that counteract a heroin overdose.
Rick Schuh, WHBY