Governor signs 3 bills to combat opioid overdoses and deaths

The Rhode Island State House. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s governor has signed three bills to combat opioid overdoses and deaths.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed 71 bills into law on Monday, including the bills to address opioids.

The first bill will limit first-time opioid prescriptions. The second bill mandates signs at pharmacies to warn customers about the dangers of opioids.

The third bill prohibits life insurance companies from denying or limiting policies for people with a prescription for an opioid overdose-reversal medication.

As part of the state budget, signed Friday, Rhode Island is also creating a $5 million annual fee on opioid manufacturers to pay for addiction prevention and treatment programs.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, who proposed creating the fee, says the state is doing everything it can to address the opioid crisis from all directions.