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Multiple heroin-related bills await Walker’s signature

Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio

Several bills aimed at addressing heroin use in Wisconsin are on their way to Gov. Scott Walker's desk.

One of the measures would shield heroin users from criminal charges if they call 911 to report an overdose or take an overdose patient to the hospital. Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, said that’s because often when people use heroin, they use it with their friends.

“We know that when someone starts OD-ing, their friends desert them because they're afraid of getting charged with a crime,” said Harsdorf. “So this bill, I think, will encourage their buddies to stick with them and to call 911 so that they can get the help they need in order to survive.”

Senators also passed a bill to let first responders carry a drug known as Narcan, which counteracts the effects of a heroin overdose. Other bills headed to Walker’s desk would let cities hold prescription drug collection drives and require identification to obtain prescription drugs containing narcotics.

All bills passed on voice votes.