Zorn comments on State of the State address; announces bill aimed at stopping prescription drug abuse

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn attended Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 State of the State address on Tuesday night with Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Mark Braunlich. After the address, Zorn highlighted the governor’s plan and announced that he is reintroducing legislation to help prevent prescription drug abuse.

“Once again, the governor kicked off the conversation for the year with his State of the State address, and I agree with several of his priorities,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Continuing to increase funding for education — especially getting high school students the skills they need to work after graduation — is one of my top priorities. Expanding our economy, increasing trade and bringing better paying jobs to Michigan will benefit everyone. I am also interested in the governor’s ideas to fix our aging infrastructure, especially concerning water and road projects.

“I look forward to working with the governor on addressing the opioid epidemic.”

Zorn said, “Monroe County has been one of the state’s hardest hit communities for prescription drug overdoses. We need a prescription database that doctors can use to check patient history that is quick, easy to use and accurate, and we need to end exemptions that patients are taking advantage of to get their hands on excessive amounts of drugs.”

On Wednesday, Zorn will reintroduce a bill from last session, Senate Bill 828, which would remove reporting exemptions for controlled substance samples, methadone treatment centers and buprenorphine prescribers.

Zorn’s bill would require more reporting of controlled substances to the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS). MAPS is the prescription monitoring program for the state of Michigan and tracks patients and prescribers for over-supply of Schedule 2-5 controlled substances.

“MAPS should be an effective tool to stop the practice of patients going to several doctors to get multiple prescriptions,” Zorn said. “By eliminating reporting exemptions in MAPS, we can help combat drug abuse by increasing access to critical information about who is getting these controlled substances and how often they are getting them.”