Gov. Jack Markell signed bipartisan legislation, creating a group tasked with studying and preventing fatalities caused by heroin, opioids and fentanyl.

Gov. Jack Markell signed bipartisan legislation, creating a group tasked with studying and preventing fatalities caused by heroin, opioids and fentanyl.

Senate Bill 174, sponsored by Sens. Bethany Hall-Long, D-Middletown, and Ernesto Lopez, R-Lewes, establishes the Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission.

This entity will investigate accidental overdose fatalities and use that data to offer solutions to reduce fatalities in the future. Hall-Long, co-chair of the Senate’s Behavioral and Mental Health Task Force, said currently 15 Delawareans die of overdoses each month.

The 15-member commission is modeled after the state’s successful efforts to combat domestic violence and child abuse. It includes Delaware Attorney General Matthew Denn, Department of Health and Social Services secretary Rita Landgraf and Director of the Division of Public Health Karyl Thomas Rattay.