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Overdose mapping bill passes to combat fentanyl crisis in Texas

Gov. Abbott signs bill classifying fentanyl deaths as poisonings
Gov. Abbott signs bill classifying fentanyl deaths as poisonings 02:01

DALLAS ( - Senate Bill 1319 has passed. 

The law will require physicians and health care institutions treating substance overdose to share data with law enforcement agencies of the municipality or county in which they practice. 

It amends the Texas Medical Records Act to allow law enforcement agencies and EMTs across Texas to participate in overdose mapping without liability. The advanced data analytics and real-time information will help identify patterns, hotspots, and emerging trends related to drug overdoses. 

"For six years I, alongside former United States Attorney in the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox and Texoma High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Director Lance Sumpter, have been working toward bringing ODMAP online across all of Dallas County. This is far from mission accomplished in the fight against the fentanyl crisis, but I am relieved to finally have this powerful tool in our arsenal," shared Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot in a news release.

Dallas City Council members Paula Blackmon and Adam Bazaldua supported the bill as well. 

"Like the rest of the nation, the opioid crisis is in Dallas. Allowing opioid data sharing between law enforcement, fire and EMS departments within the same city makes sense, and it is urgently needed," said Bazaldua in a statement last month. 

Filed by Houston-area Senator Joan Huffman, the new law takes effect September 1, 2023.

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