Dills Passes Addiction, Mental Health Improvement Bills in House

Mike Seals - March 3, 2021 10:03 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, this week secured passage of two bills in the House that will better help Oklahomans seeking substance abuse, addiction or mental health care services.

House Bill 1740 would require every hospital emergency room to provide information on available local substance abuse, addiction and mental health services to a person seeking help. The bill requires the information to be provided the hospitals by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS). The department said this would have minimal fiscal impact on the agency, which it could absorb.

House Bill 1741 adds the definition of substance abuse records to mean medical records governed by the U.S. Code of Public Health and Welfare.

“Many Oklahomans seek more expensive emergency room services when they actually need recovery services for substance abuse addictions or mental health care,” Dills said. “These are easy enough changes to state law that in the long run will save state taxpayers hundreds if not millions of dollars while ensuring those who need care get the appropriate care.”

Dills said the bills were constituent requests. Both measures passed the House last year with a unanimous vote but were delayed by COVID. HB 1940 passed the house Tuesday with a unanimous vote of 95-0. HB 1741 passed today with a vote of 80-0.

Both measures would become effective Nov. 1.

HB 1740 and HB 1741 now move to the state Senate. Both are authored by Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow.


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