New Wisconsin Laws to Address the Heroin Epidemic

. Heroin is part of a larger class of drugs known as opiates, which also includes morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. Following is a summary of these new laws, which are in effect as of April 9, 2014.

Wis. Stat. § 961.443 grants immunity from criminal prosecutions for possession of drugs or paraphernalia to people who call 911, summons emergency help, or brings a person who he/she believes is overdosing from any controlled substance.

Amending and creating a number of statutes requiring first responders to carry Naloxone, an intravenous drug used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose, and be trained in its administration. It also grants criminal and civil immunity to those who administer the shot.

Wis. Stat. §§ 51.422 and 20.435(5)(bc) [amended] are created to establish opioid treatment programs in Wisconsin communities, and to fund at least a portion of those programs through the Department of Health Services.

Amending and creating a number of statutes to give authority to the body that governs probation and extended supervision to create a system of short-term sanctions (periods of incarceration) that can be imposed for a violation when a person attempts to possess a narcotic drug, rather than revoking the remaining period of supervision for the imposition of a usually lengthy stayed jail sentence. It also creates sanctions for those benefiting from a deferred prosecution agreement.

Wis. Stat. §§ 165.95(5)(bg) and 165.95(5p) providing grants to those counties that offer substance abuse treatment and diversion from incarceration, and making an appropriate to the Department of Justice for that purpose.

Amending and creating a number of statutes to create programs to dispose of prescription drugs, controlled substances, and certain medical or drug-related items. Such programs must be authorized by the State to do so, and will be regulated by State and Federal laws.

Amending and creating a number of statutes requiring that persons filling a prescription for schedule II drugs (including opiates) and schedule III drugs must present identification, have their name recorded and maintained for a specific period of time, subject to a few exceptions. These exception include, among others, medications provided by the doctor directly to the patient.


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