State House OKs legislation to combat opioid addiction

OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state House has approved legislation to create an opioid prescription abuse program for Michigan school districts to follow and let Medicaid pay for patient detoxification and rehabilitation services for people with addictions.

The bills passed Tuesday also would prevent doctors from giving prescriptions without written parental consent and let pharmacists refuse filling prescriptions suspected of having forged doctors’ signatures.

Opioids include heroin, prescription opioids, and nonpharmaceutical fentanyl.

Nearly 2,000 people died in 2015 in Michigan from drug overdoses. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Michigan and some other states are facing opioid epidemics.

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The bills now return to the GOP-controlled Senate, but likely won’t be taken up until September after lawmakers return from break.