Two pieces of bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado to combat New Jersey’s growing opioid crisis have been signed into law by the Governor.
Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Kristin Corrado to combat New Jersey’s growing opioid crisis have been signed into law. (©iStock)
“Raising awareness is an important step that will help us to battle the crisis of opioid abuse that’s plaguing New Jersey and save lives,” said Corrado (R-40). “We’re ensuring that individual patients who are prescribed opioids are warned of the potential danger of addiction. On a larger scale, we’re going to highlight the vast scope of this disease to reduce the stigma of talking about it or seeking help. These efforts will work in tandem to educate patients and the general public about this growing problem.”
Corrado’s first law, S-2244/A-3292, will require any prescription opioid medication dispensed in the State of New Jersey to include a warning sticker describing the risks of opioid medications. Opioids that will qualify for a label under the law include codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol) and oxycodone (OxyContin).
The warning sticker will be red in color with text printed in a font that is large enough to be easily and clearly readable.
Corrado’s second law, SJR-35, will dedicate October 6th of each year as “Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day.” This resolution aims to heighten awareness of the opioid abuse epidemic and its effects throughout the state.
Since 2004, there have been almost 14,000 opioid overdoses in New Jersey. The rise in deaths is consistent with a national trend. More than 64,000 people died nationally of drug-related causes in 2016 – the most in recorded history.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, New Jersey’s per capita rate of heroin related deaths is more than triple the national average. Heroin overdoses have escalated to become one of the leading causes of death in the state.
Corrado has encouraged families to prevent opioid abuse by participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which promotes the safe and legal disposal of unused medication. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs acquire them unnoticed from their family or friends homes.
“The unprecedented rise in opioid deaths suggests we must do more to prevent and treat opioid addiction,” Corrado added. “Similar to warning labels on cigarettes and alcohol, labels on opioids will serve as a consistent reminder of the potential dangers of abusing prescription medication. Increasing education about this disease will reduce the stigma, prevent abuse, and encourage those suffering to get help.”
Related Facebook Post: