Hawaii laws aim to curtail painkiller abuse, buck lobby - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii laws aim to curtail painkiller abuse, buck lobby

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file) (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Community health outreach workers in Hawaii have heard frightening stories about people trying to reverse drug overdoses by injecting saltwater and milk into their friends.

A new Hawaii law is allowing groups to distribute life-saving medication to combat overdoses.

Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have soared, claiming 165,000 lives in the U.S. since 2000.

An investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that drugmakers that produce opioid painkillers and allied advocacy groups spent more than $880 million on campaign contributions and lobbying over the past decade.

The groups spent far less in Hawaii than in other states, making modest campaign donations.

A new Hawaii law in most cases prevents health care providers from prescribing more than a 30-day supply of opioids.

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