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Governor Signs Bills Focused on Expanding Access to Treatment and Recovery Services

LA CROSSE — Gov. Tony Evers today signed four bills at the Coulee Recovery Center in La Crosse focused on addressing substance use disorder and reducing and addressing opioid use in Wisconsin by supporting evidence-based treatment options for Wisconsinites and extending the successful prescription drug monitoring program.

“We have to do more to expand access to healthcare across our state, and that includes bolstering our efforts for substance use disorder treatment and recovery services,” said Gov. Evers. “Folks have seen firsthand how substance use disorder—especially opioid use—has torn apart families and communities across our state, and we need to get serious about tackling this issue in Wisconsin. I am proud to sign these bipartisan bills into law today that are a step in the right direction, but we know that there is more work we have yet to do to make sure we're investing in substance use disorder treatment and services to keep our families and communities healthy and safe.”

Assembly Bill 645, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 119:

Allows county jails to enter into agreements to obtain naloxone and training; andRequires the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to study the availability of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in county jails and prisons.

Assembly Bill 646, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 120:

Prevents a state employee from being disciplined for using or possessing a controlled substance, if the employee is using the controlled substance as prescribed or recommended as part of a medication-assisted treatment for addiction recovery; Requires the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to establish and maintain a registry of recovery residences in order for the residences to receive referrals and funds from the state; andRequires recovery residences on the registry to allow residents that are participating in medication-assisted treatment.

Assembly Bill 647, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 121:

Permits the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services to continue the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) by extending the sunset date from April 1, 2020 to April 1, 2025; andExtends the requirement for the Controlled Substances Board to review PDMP outcomes quarterly from October 30, 2020 until October 20, 2025.

Assembly Bill 650, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 122:

Requires the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to establish a program to facilitate overdose treatment including: using peer recovery coaches to encourage individuals to seek treatment following an overdose; providing access to medications to reverse an overdose; coordinate and continue care and treatment for individuals after an overdose; provide education to patients and families on preventing and reversing an overdose; provide follow-up services for patients after an overdose; and collect and evaluate outcomes data on patients receiving peer recovery coach services and coordination and continuation of care services; and Requires the Medicaid program to reimburse certain peer recovery coach services.


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