HB 4002A drug use deflection programs and penalties


Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Measures/Overview/HB4002
Committee assigned to bill:


This bill is a Gut & Stuff, two amendments are pending discussion. Amendment -10 by Rep. Mannix includes a 3 year study to coordinate drug intervention and treatment among state agencies and programs, a task force, and several new programs that seems to defeat the study and adds cost to government. Time was not spent as Democrats will promote their own option -24.

Amendment -24 mandates insurers to cover substance use disorders and medications without pre-authorization as an addition to the current benefits. It removes prior authorization for payment. Authorizes pharmacist to refill medication for treatment, but requires an assessment whether medication  is appropriate. Establishes rules for prescription drug locker locations.

Discrimination against individuals with substance use disorders prohibited in group recovery homes based on the tenant’s involvement in medication-assisted treatment as defined in ORS 431A.463.

Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission study on practices for youth accessing substance use disorder treatment and access to medication-assisted treatment. Develop a strategic plan to improve access to treatment, and recommendations for reducing barriers.

Establish a certified community behavioral health clinic program in OHA in accordance with criteria adopted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services including adjusting the fixed cost-based rate.

Establish a Joint Task Force on Regional Behavioral Health Accountability to make recommendations to the Legislative Assembly to improve the governance of behavioral health systems and strengthen evidence-based funding decisions and accountability of behavioral health systems.

Establishes criminal category 5-7 for sentencing guideline grid for violations of delivery or manufacturing that is unlawful, and reevaluate and update release guidelines. Possession is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, which is a $100 fine and referred to a qualified deflection program if law enforcement makes referral. Probation options are separate from other offenses charged.

Establishes a certification of deflection programs under Oregon Criminal Justice Commission with grant funds with involvement of local Behavioral Health Resource Networks, and tracking of the program participants for demographics. ‘Deflection program’ means a collaborative program between law enforcement agencies and behavioral health entities that assists individuals who may have substance use disorder, another behavioral health disorder or co-occurring disorders, to create community-based pathways to treatment, recovery support services, housing, case management or other services. Upon completing the program, records are sealed and expunged after a duration.

If you made it through the bill, it’s a lot of additions with no more accountability for results that will reduce addiction, and weak provisions for prevention. This bill is more focused on growing government programs than effective results. It need significant amendments.


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