Gov. Greitens signs bill that addresses opioid abuse into law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Eric Greitens took action against the growing opioid crisis by signing Senate Bill 501 into law on Friday.

It gives the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services the ability to issue life-saving medications, such as naloxone, or Narcan, which can reverse the deadly effects of opioid overdoes and make them available across the state.

Senate Bill 501 provides patients in drug courts and veterans courts an alternative to get medication-assisted substance abuse treatment under the care of a doctor, without violating conditions of their program.

The law also prevents anyone who calls for medical help because of an overdose from facing prosecution for having drugs. It doesn't protect people from prosecution for selling drugs. Responding law enforcement officers will provide the caller with information on treatment programs.

"The opioid crisis in Missouri has taken the lives of hundreds of mothers, fathers and children. It strikes in our cities and our rural communities. It destroys relationships and drives crime," said Gov. Greitens.

The governor will host several events next week to talk about new actions the state is taking to fight the opioid epidemic.

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