Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation to address opioid abuse during a ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol early Thursday morning.

Deal signed the Jeffrey Dallas Gay Jr. Act (SB 121), the Narcotic Treatment Programs Enforcement Act (SB 88) and HB 249.

“The three bills I signed into law today will enable us to more effectively fight the ongoing opioid epidemic that impacts individuals, families and communities across Georgia,” said Deal. “I would like to thank Attorney General Chris Carr and the legislators behind these bills for their hard work, compassion and service in the fight against this illness. I am confident that this legislation will help save lives and give hope to the victims ensnared by this epidemic as well as their loved ones.”

SB 121 exempts Naloxone, the emergency drug used to reverse opioid overdoses from the dangerous drug list when it is used as a drug overdose prevention medication, and when it is supplied for various types of rescue kits.

SB 88 requires the state's Department of Community Health to create minimum standards and quality of services for narcotic treatment programs in the state.

HB 249 shifts the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program from the Georgia Drugs and Monitoring Agency to the Department of Public Health.

The 11Alive Investigative series, The Triangle, uncovered a huge increase in the number of heroin-related deaths in a cluster of metro Atlanta counties. Click here for more.