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New North Carolina law clears path to treatment in fight against opioid addiction

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill into legislation to help curb the opioid overdose and addiction problem in the state.

More than 13,000 North Carolinians have died from unintentionally overdosing on opioids.

Debbie Kincaid is a Burlington mother who has a daughter who's been dealing with drug addiction and mental illness for nearly 20 years.

"It`s just been devastating for her," Kincaid said. "She`s lost her home. She`s lost friends. She`s been hospitalized multiple times."

On Monday, Gov. Cooper signed House Bill 325, The Opioid Response Act. Kincaid says she thinks it's a step in the right direction.

The bill will help increase access to more office-based opioid treatment and remove certain barriers some North Carolina doctors face when prescribing medicines that help curb the addiction.

"That`s a big plus," said Kincaid.

The second layer of the bill states to allow people to test whether their drugs are laced with even more dangerous substance like Fentanyl. It will also decriminalize the use of paraphernalia designed to test the strength of the drug-like Fentanyl test strips something Debbie believes could save lives.

"It`s really hard for me to lay my head on the pillow at night and wonder, you know, will the next dose be laced with something like that, so that`s awesome," said Kincaid.

Even though she says this type of legislation has been a long time coming, and she's still glad action is being taken in the state to assist with this epidemic.

"To have a child on such an addictive drug and trying to help them get off it, anything the governor wants to do, anything he wants to put in place to help with that, that`s really good," Kincaid said.

Medicaid covers a large range of treatment for people with opioid use disorders. Those who have Medicaid are twice as likely to receive treatment.

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