PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – New legislation introduced would require healthcare workers who treat patients to undergo at least five hours of training every two years on addiction risks associated with prescription pain medications.

Under the bill, physicians would also be required to complete training necessary to obtain a DATA 2000 waiver to prescribe buprenorphine, which is a narcotic to treat pain.

The bill is one of several introduced by Rep. Joseph  McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) related to prescription drugs and the purchasing of Narcan.

“According to the national Conference of State Legislators, overdoses from OxyContin and other opioid pain relievers killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2014,” said Rep. McNamara.

Two other bills would amend the law regarding access to the drug monitoring database.

One would authorize any vendor, agent, contractor, or designee who operates an electronic medical health record (EMR) or clinical management system to have access to the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).

The second would remove the requirement that information contained in any prescription drug monitoring database maintained by the Dept. of Health be provided to law enforcement only pursuant to a valid search warrant, and would instead permit disclosure of that information to such authorities if in connection with a specific investigation.

Rep. McNamara says, “The two bills are designed to streamline the process by which the prescription drug monitoring database is accessed.”

Another bill comes up with a way to fund the use of Narcan in Rhode Island cities and towns.

The final bill would remove school district approval from the enrollment process for recovery high school students and would require the transfer of the per pupil core instructional amount.

The act also requires the state to provide no less than $500,000 a year to each recovery high school.