Nebraska taking additional steps to prevent opioid abuse

OMAHA, NE (AP) – Nebraska lawmakers are moving ahead with additional steps designed to protect the state from the national opioid drug epidemic.

Lawmakers gave first-round approval Monday to a bill that would add new requirements for the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

The changes are intended to help health officials track what prescriptions patients have received and prevent them from over-prescribing highly addictive drugs.

The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Sara Howard, of Omaha, whose sister died of a prescription drug overdose in 2009.

The bill advanced, 44 – 0, through the first of three required votes before it goes to the governor.