The state Assembly health committee has approved a package of bills aimed at fighting the abuse of prescription painkillers, a common gateway to heroin addiction.
The legislation would require opiate dispensers to enter prescriptions in a statewide database within 24 hours, have police log drugs found at the scene of overdoses, create registries for methadone and pain clinics, and have treatment programs the use methadone report how many people are receiving the medication.
All four bills passed on unanimous votes, clearing the way for the Assembly to take them up later this session.
Each of the measures is aimed at reducing illegal access to drugs that often serve as a gateway to heroin addiction. They are part of a continued effort by state Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) to address the issue, which has been described as an epidemic across the state. It has also impacted his daughter, who has struggled with heroin and drug abuse issues.