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7/7/2021 Governor signs bill that decriminalizes the prescription drug buprenorphine
STATE HOUSE — Gov. Dan McKee has signed legislation (2021-H 5485A, 2021-S 0065A) introduced by Majority Floor Manager John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth) and Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) that excludes the possession of buprenorphine from those controlled substances that can result in criminal penalties.

“Buprenorphine can be a real survival tool,” said Representative Edwards. “This legislation will prevent overdoses and save lives by encouraging people with substance use disorders to choose buprenorphine over heroin.”

Buprenorphine is a prescription drug used to treat opioid use disorder, and more state legislatures have been considering its benefits. Last month, Vermont became the first state in the nation to legalize its possession.

“Buprenorphine is an effective medication-assisted treatment,” said Senator Miller, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. “It offers benefits to those with opioid use disorders when treatment in a methadone clinic is not appropriate or is less convenient.”

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903