State Representative Michael Bergan of Decorah says he put in a lot of work on the opioid abuse prevention bill which was passed by the state legislature this session. As a result, he was in attendance Monday as the bill was signed into law.
Bergan says much of the new legislation is devoted to making sure people don't overfill opioid prescriptions. The law contains requirements that doctors must quickly check the state's prescription database. It also contains measures to limit the amount of pills prescribed.
Bergan says he's proud of the legislation, as well as the bill which made sweeping changes in Iowa's mental health system. That new law sets up six regional access centers aimed at helping people with mental health issues which don't require hospitalization. Bergan tells decorahnews.com the availability of hospital beds for people requiring hospitalization for mental issues is adequate, but there's a big need for short-term care programs to help people after they leave the hospital. Such a system would not only help people, but he notes that it would have lower costs than hospitalization.