NEW JERSEY – Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco that would help save lives from opioid overdose was advanced by the Senate last week.
The bill, S-2323, would require doctors to prescribe an opioid antidote in conjunction with opioid prescriptions for pain management for high-risk patients.
“The opioid crisis continues to claim lives and tear families apart at a mind-numbing rate,” Bucco (R-25) said. “Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the nation, and the pandemic has only increased the problem in the Garden State.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends co-prescribing Narcan (naloxone) and opioids in its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
“Given the dangers of opioid misuse, it makes sense to provide a treatment that can be the difference between life and death,” Bucco said. “The same approach has proven effective in other states, and it can make a difference in New Jersey, as well.”
At least seven states now require co-prescribing: Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. In California and Ohio, laws require prescribers to offer naloxone co-prescriptions in certain circumstances.
“The bill will seek to protect high-risk patients with a history of substance abuse or those with an elevated daily prescription,” Bucco said. “These individuals are at greater risk of overdose and this defensive strategy will prevent tragedies and save lives.”