Part II of the STOP Act, the HOPE Act, released this week
In a continued attempt to combat the opioid addiction crisis, House and Senate legislators released this week what has been dubbed as part two of the STOP Act, the Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement (HOPE) Act. The HOPE Act, which is also supported by Attorney General Josh Stein, expands access to the Controlled Substance Reporting System to certain law enforcement officers in an attempt to confront the opioid addiction crisis from that front, as well as strengthens the consequences for persons who mishandle opioids. The bill also includes additional funds for community-based drug treatment and recovery services, for naloxone, and for Operation Medicine Drop, a program that safely rids of unneeded prescription drugs.
Among its provisions, the HOPE Act:
Section 7 expands the criminal offenses related to MDPV to include "any substituted cathinone."
Section 8 creates a "certified diversion investigator" position, who will be able to request and receive prescription informaiton from pharmacies, when, and only when required, for an active investigation related to a controlled substance. This section also requires the pharmacy to provide the requested information and protects the pharmacist from liability relating to the sharing of that confidential information.
Section 9 establishes the following three criminal offenses: (1) Class 1 misdemeanor for aiding the diversion of a controlled substance; (2) Class I felony for intentionally aiding the diversion of a controlled substance; (3) Class E felony for a medical professional that intentionally dilutes or substitutes any controlled substance.
Section 10 requires a controlled substance dispenser to report the prescriber's NPI number.
Section 11 authorizes access to the CSRS to the North Carolina Attorney General and expands access to the CSRS to the state's Tactical Diversion Squad. This section also establishes the criminal offenses for unlawful access or disclosure of CSRS information and sets out the conditions and requirements for the release of informaiton from the CSRS to law enforcement.
Sections 13 & 14 authorizes and creates the miniumum standards and levels of training and certification of diversion investigators.
SB 616 passed the House Health and Judiciary I committees this week, and will go to the House floor for consideration next week. After the bill makes it through the House, it will go to the Senate for consideration. NCAPA will continue to monitor this bill throughout the process.