Bill Named in Memory of NJ Man Who Passed Away After Battle with Addiction
The New Jersey Senate voted to give final legislative approval to Senator Robert Singer’s (R-30) bill that would require pharmacists to instruct their patients on how to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired drugs and needles.
Charlie’s Law, S-3240, would also ensure pharmacists’ patients can access drug deactivation products.
The State Senate voted to give final legislative approval to Sen. Robert Singer’s bill that would require pharmacists to instruct their patients on how to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired drugs and needles. (Wikimedia)
Charlie’s Law is named in memory of Charlie Van Tassel, a beloved son and brother who battled addiction for many years before his passing at the age of 33. Charlie’s family remembers him as a successful athlete and family prankster who loved music and dancing.
“We’ve all heard stories about extra or expired medications in a family medicine cabinet falling into the wrong hands, leading to a drug addiction or even death,” Singer said. “My legislation, introduced in memory of Charlie, will prevent these all-too-common tragedies, by making sure patients have a safe way to dispose of their unwanted prescription medication and needles. Enacting this legislation as soon as possible will prevent opioid abuse and save lives.”
Senator Singer’s bipartisan bill, S-3240, would ensure pharmacists supply instructions to patients regarding proper drug disposal procedures, along with a warning of potential risks if the medication is not discarded safely.
Additionally, the pharmacists must make available to the patient a Drug Deactivation System product, which neutralizes 98 percent of medication and reduces the chance of drugs infiltrating a landfill or water supply.
Every day, more than 2,000 teenagers misuse a prescription drug for the first time, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain medicine obtained the drugs from family or friends.
“No New Jersey family has gone untouched by the horrific opioid crisis plaguing our state,” Singer added. “This legislation will combat drug abuse where it often begins – in the home. Stopping drug addiction before it starts will save lives.”
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