Bipartisan Capito bill would make doctors more aware of patient history of substance abuse, prevent relapses

Bipartisan legislation introduced on Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) would take steps to make medical providers aware of patients’ addiction history when prescribing new medications.

Jessie’s Law, introduced by Capito and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), would provide doctors and medical providers with information about a patient’s history of substance abuse at every step of care when the patient gives consent.

The bill is named after Jesse Grubb, a woman who battled addiction for seven years before getting sober. After undergoing surgery for a running injury, Grubb was given a prescription for 50 oxycodone pills, which triggered her relapse and death.

“Jessie’s story is truly heartbreaking,” Capito said. “As a mother and a grandmother, I cannot imagine the pain the Grubb family has experienced following the loss of their beloved daughter. West Virginia has lost too many daughters, sons, friends and neighbors to the terrible scourge of addiction. That’s why I am joining with Sen. Manchin to introduce Jessie’s Law in the hopes that Jessie’s story can help save lives and make a difference as we continue our fight against this drug epidemic.”

Manchin said that he promised Grubb’s father that her death would not be in vain, which contributed to the introduction of Jessie’s Law.

“Her death was 100 percent preventable and she should still be with us today,” Manchin said. “But with grief comes hope. As we grieve for Jessie and her family, let us pray that we can use this tragedy to help save others. Let us hope that Jessie’s smile and kind heart can touch others in need. Let us celebrate Jessie’s life and all that she meant to her family, her community and her friends. Let us pass Jessie’s Law so her legacy stands long after us.”

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