Goes before House
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2017) — A House panel has advanced House Bill 145, sponsored by Rep. James Tipton (R-Taylorsville) that would require elementary, middle and high school students be educated on the dangers of prescription opioid painkiller abuse and on the connection between prescription opioids and addiction to heroin and other drugs.
Recommendations for a prescription opioid abuse prevention curriculum would be developed by the state Office of Drug Control Policy and published on the state Department of Education’s website.
Kentucky in 2014 ranked fourth in highest rate of opioid deaths, at 24.7 per every 100,000 people, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall the state had 729 opioid overdose deaths and 1,077 total drug overdose deaths in 2014.
While Tipton admitted HB 145 will not completely solve the drug epidemic, he described the bill as “common sense” legislation that is needed to protect children in today’s drug culture. He said, “They are exposed to it every day, and they need to be properly educated. Hopefully this legislation will prevent some deaths in the future.”
Tipton said school-based prescription opioid abuse prevention education is working in other states. In Ohio, students in elementary through high school receive age-appropriate training in the responsible use of drugs and medications, he told the committee.
HB 145 now goes to the full House for consideration.