Bill Taking Aim at Heroin Clears Ky. Senate

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill aimed at combating a deadly surge in heroin addiction.

The 36-0 vote Thursday came soon after a Senate committee was told that heroin use has devastated families and put a burden on courts and emergency rooms in hard-hit areas.

The measure now goes to the Kentucky House. The bill's prime supporters include House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Tilley of Hopkinsville.

The bill calls for tougher punishment for higher-volume heroin traffickers.

On the treatment side, the bill would require the Kentucky Medicaid program to pay for a range of substance-abuse treatment. It also would direct that part of the money saved from the state's corrections reform law be used to fund treatment and anti-drug education programs.

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