LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers are making an aggressive push this year to prevent prescription opioid abuse, a problem that plagues much of the country and accounts for a large number of the state's overdose deaths.
Senators have introduced four bills designed to reduce opioid deaths and prevent the situation from becoming as serious in Nebraska as in other, harder-hit states.
The Department of Health and Human Services says Nebraska had 38 confirmed deaths from opioid overdoses in 2016 out of 128 total drug fatalities. But the numbers could be higher because death certificates don't always specify which drugs are used.
Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha says lawmakers hope to help families who have struggled with addiction. Her sister, Carrie, died of a prescription drug overdose in 2009.