MOORHEAD (KFGO-AM) -- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar held a roundtable discussion in Moorhead to talk about the heroin crisis. Over the past several weeks, eight people, including a 20-year old Moorhead man, have died of heroin overdoses in northern Minnesota.
"You know we used to think of heroin addicts as junkies on a street corner, well now 4 out of 5 heroin addicts got their start on legal prescription drugs. They had a backache, they had an injury and they got too many of these drugs and started taking them and got addicted" Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar's bipartisan bill, the comprehensive addiction and recovery act (CARA), which has passed the U.S. Senate would encourage a community approach to fighting addiction. It's hoped that all insurance companies will pay for treatment and that doctors nationwide join a registry to monitor a patient's prescriptions in case they travel to different doctors or states seeking medications. It would also expand disposal sites nationwide so people could get rid of un-needed medications safely.
President Obama has put a billion dollars in his budget to help deal with the heroin and opiod crisis.
The bill is aimed at moving away from punishing addicts and working towards treating them.