Madison – Wisconsin continues to lead in fighting opioid addiction. On Wednesday, two bills part of the Heroin, Opiate, Prevention, and Education (HOPE) Agenda, authored by State Senator Alberta Darling received public hearings in committees in both the Senate and Assembly.
Senator Darling authored Senate Bill 591 with State Representative John Nygren of Marinette to help create a stable work environment for people going through addiction treatment. Under the bill, state employees can’t be penalized for undergoing addiction treatment. The bill also requires the Department of Health Services to create a list of eligible housing for people recovering from addiction. Senator Darling says these changes will help people on the road to recovery.
“Stable employment and housing are crucial to the success of someone struggling with addiction,” Darling said, “By becoming a recovery friendly workplace and establishing a recovery housing registry, we can open opportunities to people recovering from addiction and help them create a stable, healthy life for themselves.”
Senator Darling along with Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam authored Senate Bill 594, which will help make sure jailers have access and training to deliver the life-saving drug, Narcan. County jailers often find themselves dealing with people with addictions. However, not all county jails are equipped with 24-hour medical staffing. Senator Darling says allowing county jailers access to Narcan will save lives.
“There are times when addicts are arrested and overdose in our jails,” Darling said, “Delayed action in these types of emergency situations can often mean the difference between life and death.”
Both bills are now available for a vote in committees.
Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties.