Heroin treatment, penalties strengthened in bill for Kentucky General Assembly - Louisville Courier Journal
LEGISLATION HIGHLIGHTS• Kentucky Medicaid would be required to cover substance-abuse treatment for heroin and other opiates, which the bill’s authors believe would increase the number of treatment facilities and openings in existing facilities.
• Drug traffickers could face homicide charges and high-volume dealers, those caught with four grams or more, would be required to serve at least 50 percent of their sentence before parole or shock probation.
• Coroners and medical examiners would have to notify local law enforcement agencies of any overdose deaths caused by heroin and other Schedule I narcotics, which are drugs that have no medical use.
• Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, would be more available with a doctor’s prescription. The drug, commonly used by paramedics, can bring someone back to consciousness during an overdose.
• People who call 911 to prevent an overdose death would have some immunity to drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges. The overdose patient would also receive some immunity if they agree to attend a treatment program.
• Users who tell police they have needles on them could avoid paraphernalia charges. Some police officers have been accidentally pricked by needles, potentially exposing them to HIV.
• Funding would be increased for Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy to improve anti-drug education campaigns.