COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — As suspected overdoses in South Carolina are on the rise, health officials are getting a new tool to better understand the opioid crisis.

A new state law that just went into effect requires South Carolina health care facilities to report to the state health department every time they administer an opioid antidote.

These antidotes can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

This information will be collected for the state’s prescription monitoring program. They must include things like the date the antidote was administered and name, address, and date of birth of the person to whom the opioid antidote was administered.

DHEC already tracks antidote administrations from some law enforcement and firefighters, but now all first responders will be required to submit that data as well.

The goal of the law is to get a fuller picture of opioid misuse in the state. The data will give DHEC and the state Department on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) a real time look at overdose trends.

Doctors will also be allowed to access this information – they can use it to determine whether or not a patients needs to get treatment for a opioid use disorder.

DAODAS Director Sara Goldsby said, “”We want to keep people breathing. We want to keep people alive. That gives them a chance to get to treatment and ultimately recovery.”

This is the only new law that went into effect Friday. Other new state laws include:

Act No. 159 (R182, H5149)
— Saluda County Voting precincts. Effective January 1, 2021
Act No. 160 (R185, H4938) Word format
— Electronic prescriptions. Effective January 1, 2021
Act No. 173 (R174, H3596) Word format
— Ad valorem taxes. Effective January 1, 2021