West Virginia Senate votes for wider overdose reporting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Senate has voted to require hospital emergency departments as well as emergency responders to report all suspected or confirmed drug overdoses.
The bill passed unanimously Monday also would require all emergency responders to carry the antidote for opioid overdoses while establishing a four-year community pilot project aimed at creating a model for addressing the state’s drug crisis.
It follows recommendations by health officials that included limiting initial painkiller prescriptions, currently addressed in other legislation.
Last week, Gov. Jim Justice said the state plans to spend at least $10 million to create a model in two counties yet to be selected.
One county will be in the southern part of the state, the other either in the north or in the Eastern Panhandle.
West Virginia recorded 884 fatal overdoses in 2016.