HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Reps. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and Jack Rader (R-Monroe) that would assist Pennsylvania residents struggling with drug addictions was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives today.
Heffley’s proposal, House Bill 741
, would require drug recovery houses to notify a resident’s emergency contact when the resident is evicted, self-discharges or leaves and fails to return.
Also known as “Justin’s Law,” the legislation was prompted by a tragedy that impacted a local family in which a young man overdosed and died after leaving a recovery house without his family’s knowledge.
“The families of those struggling with addiction face many difficult challenges as they try to help their loved ones. They deserve to know when a family member leaves a recovery house. Justin’s Law makes sure they do. For many, this information could be the difference between life and death,” Heffley noted.
Rader’s legislation, House Bill 220
, would clarify that a person cannot be denied treatment at a public or private rehabilitative facility based solely on a negative drug test. Facilities may still deny treatment for other than clinical reasons to those with a negative test.
“I thank my House colleagues for their unanimous support of this legislation, which will help to prevent needless tragedies like the one that occurred in our area. A young man overdosed after using an opioid under the belief that a positive drug test was required to be accepted for treatment,” said Rader. “We are hoping to have the bill signed into law during the current session and encourage the Senate to act swiftly.”
Also today, the House unanimously approved related legislation, House Bill 944
, which would require a treatment facility to notify a patient’s emergency contact when the patient leaves against medical advice.
All three bills will now be considered by the Senate.
Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Representative Jack Rader
176th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs