House and Senate committees create new opioid treatment facilities

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State Senator Fred Mills, R-Parks, right, chaired a committee hearing Wednesday, May 15, 2019, on bills to regulate opioid treatment facilities. (Photo credit: Tryfon Boukouvidis, LSU Manship School News Service)

Published: May 15, 2019

By: Tryfon Boukouvidis and Lauren Heffker, LSU Manship School News Service

State House and Senate committees advanced bills that would address the opioid crisis by creating new treatment facilities in Louisiana and allowing alternative treatment methods.

Rep. Paula Davis, R-Baton Rouge, sponsored House Bill 250 that would require residential treatment facilities to give patients with opioid-use disorders access to medication that would block the opioid effect.

Before advancing Davis’ bill, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee amended it to delay enforcement of the change until 2021. This would allow the treatment facilities more time to adjust.

Currently, the majority of residential treatment providers in the state do not offer any form of medication-assisted treatment to patients with opioid addictions.

The committee members appeared sympathetic to the cause of the bill.

“It’s not a character flaw,” said Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, referring to opioid users. “When someone starts talking about it as a character flaw, I’m just wondering what century they are from as far as catching up with medicine.”

Read more in The Advocate.

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