Madison Today Governor Walker signed seven bills into law that will help address Wisconsin’s growing heroin epidemic. State Representative John Jagler (R-Watertown) was a strong supporter of the package of bills, which was authored by State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette). These pieces of legislation are part of the “H.O.P.E.” (Heroin, Opiate, Prevention and Education) initiative to address opiate addiction throughout the state. 
“Heroin addiction is one of the concerns I hear about the most from my constituents,” Jagler said. “Last fall I hosted a public forum in Watertown on heroin and opiate addiction with state and local law enforcement, county human services, medical experts and the faith community in order to pinpoint specific problems we could address in the legislature. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on this issue and working with Rep. Nygren, who has been a leader in this policy area, to pass legislation that will immediately have positive effects in our state,” said Jagler.  


Jagler served as the lead co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 701 (AB 701), which will create opiate stabilization centers in underserved, high-need areas. These centers house programs that are licensed as medically monitored residential detoxification services. Addicts that are referred to these centers would undergo an intake to determine the type of detox and treatment being requested and recommended. The opiate treatment programs would then provide a continuation of services based on an individual’s treatment needs. Examples of these services would include inpatient residential detoxification, medication-assisted treatment and counseling and post medication peer support.

“There is more work to do, specifically on the treatment side of the issue, but these seven pieces of bipartisan legislation are a good start as we continue to develop solutions leading into the next legislative session,” said Jagler. “We will keep fighting to slow the growth of heroin addiction and make it easier for recovering addicts to get the help they need.”
The following bills were signed into law at various locations across the state today:
- AB 445, ID for Prescription. The bill requires individuals to show proper identification when picking up certain types of narcotic/opiate prescription medications and keeps track of this record. Law enforcement cannot access these records unless they go through the proper legal channels.
- AB 446, Naloxone for Overdoses. The bill allows those who are properly trained to administer naloxone, a drug that effectively counters the effects of an opiate overdose. Currently basic EMT's are not allowed to carry it. This bill gives first responders a powerful tool to save lives in overdose situations.

- AB 447, 911 Good Samaritan. The bill grants limited immunity for a person who calls for help for someone who has overdosed from a controlled substance. This proposal will encourage individuals in life threatening situations to pursue medical attention.

- AB 448, Drug Disposal Program. The bill promotes the safe disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines by allowing for local governments to have community drug disposal programs.
- AB 668, TAD Program Funding. The bill increases grant funding for treatment and diversion (TAD) programs. These grants are distributed through the Department of Justice (DOJ) to qualifying programs that help those who abuse drugs and alcohol. TAD programs are intended to offer alternatives to prosecution or costly incarceration for addicts.
- AB 701, Opioid Treatment Centers. The bill will require the Department of Health Services (DHS) to create two or three regional opioid treatment centers in rural and underserved areas. 

- AB 702, Rapid Response Supervision. The bill requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to develop a system of graduated sanctions for violations of conditions of release and permits the sanctions to be imposed on an individual. It will utilize evidence-based principles and consider the risk to the community and/or the victim as a primary consideration. This model should reduce the overall number of bed days by presenting additional options outside of confinement, helping to avert costs for the state.