Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) will introduce legislation to codify proposals announced by Governor Chris Christie to increase penalties for crimes involving fentanyl derivatives and to expand New Jersey’s Recovery Coaches Program.
“This legislation will codify the emergency order announced by Governor Christie to impose stricter punishments for people convicted of making, selling or possessing these lethal fentanyl derivatives,” Senator Allen said. “We’re also going to expand our mission to reach out to individuals suffering from addiction and help them get treatment.”
— Senator Diane Allen (@dianeallennj) September 27, 2016
On Tuesday, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino issued an emergency order to add seven fentanyl analogs to the list of Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) in New Jersey, bringing them under the strictest level of state control.
Fentanyl, a regulated prescription drug, was first put on the market to help terminal patients cope with severe pain. Recently, the drug has begun to find its way into the illegal drug market mixed with, or disguised as, some other drug, like heroin or cocaine, leading to a surge in overdose deaths.
The Governor also announced the expansion of the Recovery Coach Program to six more counties – Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Hudson, Gloucester and Middlesex. Under the program, recovery coaches meet with people who have been saved from drug overdoses to provide support and help get them into addiction treatment programs. Allen’s legislation would codify the expansion.
“This program has already worked with great success in counties like Camden and Essex,” Senator Allen said. “I’m excited by the prospects of this program coming to Burlington County, where we have experienced issues with addiction just like many other places in the state. With this expansion, we can get in touch with even more people and help them get the treatment that they need.”