- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Legislation designed to combat opioid addiction has been introduced in the Idaho Legislature.

Rep. John Gannon, a Democrat from Boise, said Monday his bill would slap a second-degree murder charge on anyone who sells heroin to a user who then directly or indirectly dies because of that sale.

The drastically increasing rates of painkiller and heroin abuse have alarmed public officials across the country, but lawmakers have repeatedly struggled to find the right solution as advocacy groups have pushed states to do more.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says it tracked more than 500 state bills dealing with prescription drug abuse in 2016. The organization expects a similar number is expected this year.

Meanwhile, reported drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed 63 percent in Idaho between 2006 and 2014, with a total of 1,544 deaths during that period.



The House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee agreed to send the proposal to a legislative hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

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