'The bill will broaden the terms in the law, that if a person mixes methadone with any other drug including alcohol, they'll be cited for a DUI, it also includes a person taking more than the prescribed dosage," said Eichelberger.
Methadone clinics are used to prescribe treatments to patients who are addicted to opiates. If used correctly, some experts claim it is effective, but in recent years officials have been seeing patients abuse their treatments for cash or an added high.
"We know the stigma of methadone clinics is horrible," said SOAR Corporation Project Director Mark Besden. "In many cases, we did it to ourselves and there are issues that need to be fixed."
Besden said for the majority the fixes are simple for clinics, increase security, get surveillance cameras, and pay closer attention to patients. But for those who do not comply or abuse treatments can face criminal charges.
"We've seen good clinics and not so good ones," said Eichelberger. 'Some people walked out with this look on their face and you could tell they shouldn't have left and most certainly should not have been behind the wheel."
SB 954 passed the Senate unanimously and is currently in the State House of Representatives.