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Bill would require hospitals report if a person is suffering a drug overdose to police in Tennessee

The bill, SB 1891, would require health care providers to immediately report when a person is suffering from a drug overdose to local law enforcement.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that would require health care providers to notify law enforcement if they treat someone suffering from a drug overdose.

The bill, SB 1891, is sponsored by Senator Joey Hensley (R - Hohenwald) and would go into effect on July 1 if passed. Health care providers and anyone "called upon to tender aid to persons" would need to either report the drug overdose to the chief of police or to the sheriff, depending on whether they are treated in a city or county area.

The law also requires them to report it to the District Attorney General's Office. Health care workers and other workers would need to provide the name, residence and employer of the person if they learn that information, as well as the person's location when the report is made and the place the drug overdose happened.

They will also need to describe the character and extent of the injuries. State law already requires them to submit reports in cases of poison or suffocation, and the law would require drug overdoses to be handled the same way those cases already are.

It would only require people to report overdoses if the patient has more substances in their systems than what is legally allowed by state and federal law.

It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Calendar Committee. The Senate is expected to vote on it on April 25. The House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee is expected to discuss the companion bill on Friday.

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