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Lawmaker introduces legislation to help those recovering from alcohol addiction

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local state representative is working to find ways to combat alcohol abuse, using his own experiences as a way to help others.

New laws have been introduced to prevent people in recovery from voluntarily purchasing alcohol. Rep. Matthew Dowling of the 51st District said the bill’s purpose is to provide new tools to help people recovering from addiction.

“After a recent car accident and subsequent voluntary medical treatment, I pondered what would help me in my own fight, and this legislation came to my mind,” Dowling said.

According to his website, the lawmaker will retire at the end of his term in November and plans to focus on his personal journey to family and health after being involved in a car accident allegedly under the influence of alcohol. selected.

“I remember having an accident in early June. Thank God it was just a fender bend. But it could have been much more serious. During that time, I developed unhealthy habits with alcohol… I realized I was an alcoholic,” Dowling told KDKA on Thursday.

He said he introduced a law voluntarily prohibiting the purchase of alcohol in bars, restaurants, liquor stores or beer vendors to help others.

If a person is added to the exclusion list, it will be stored in the PLCB, allowing bars and restaurants to scan the back of a driver’s license to see if the person is on the list, he said. I was. If so, you cannot buy alcohol.

Dowling said self-exclusion is valid for five years and only those seeking exclusion will be put on the list.

“I think if you can save one life or change one life, whether it’s the life of a car accident victim or the life of an alcoholic himself, it’s worth talking about,” said Dowling. rice field.

Dowling said there are several ways to circumvent the law if it is passed. For example, not all liquor stores have scanners that scan IDs. He said he could drive out of state to buy drinks.

“There will be ways around it. But at its core value, it’s still introducing something that should be a band-aid, perhaps with those addiction problems.” It just works for people mentally,” Dowling said.

Many Pennsylvanians spoken to by KDKA-TV said they agreed with the bill.

Downingtown’s Michelle Ward said: “If it’s a choice and if someone signs the choice bill and it gives them another form of accountability, that’s a healthy thing and a good thing. I think.

Nicholas J. Stevens said, “If anyone puts me on the road to drinking, I’m all for it. I know people need help. I know our government needs some form of help.” And if it really helps, I’m all for it.” of Dormont.

The bill is still in its early stages. Dowling said it had just been introduced and referred to the House Liquor Committee.


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