GA Senate Bill 88: Tighter Drug Treatment Regulations

CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) –  Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed three pieces of legislation Thursday fighting drug-abuse.

All of them help battle the opioid epidemic seen not just nationwide, but also in Georgia.

One of those bills is putting tighter restrictions on treatment clinics coming into the state.

“I want the clinics to truly do what they’re designed to do and that’s to help people rehab from opioids, and if they can’t do that, than I want to see them shut down,” Catoosa County Coroner Vanita Hullander said.

According to Hullander, in just the past three years methadone was in about 80 percent of her autopsy cases.

It’s a drug often resold on the streets, but used in treatment centers across Georgia.

“For every one that runs the clinics the way they’re supposed to be ran, you’re going to have 15 that don’t, you know, so that’s where the problem lies,”  Coroner Hullander said.

There’s around 72 methadone clinics in Georgia, 6 in the northwest, but that number could be slowed down.

Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal put the final mark on Senate Bill 88.

The bill was spearheaded by lead sponsor State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga).

“We know people need treatment, but our area also has more per capital treatment facilities than anybody else.  So, we’re regulating how anyone can open a treatment facility,” Senator Mullis said.

The bill requires applicants to prove a need for a treatment facility before opening doors.

It puts tighter regulations on these clinics.

“We need to make sure we have quality help and, or quality facilities and make sure that the ones that are doing it professionally are here and the ones that are not, move on,” Senator Mullis said.

As for Hullander, she said she’s been pushing for these changes, and said she’s proud of Senator Mullis for taking them on.

Hullander said the new regulations become effective July 1st.

Categories: Catoosa County, Local News, Regional News

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