UPDATE: NJ Parents Concerned About Rx Drugs Their Child is Prescribed, Bill Aims to Supply Information and Alternatives


SENATE, No. 2366 
with committee amendments 
The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee reports favorably and with amendments Senate Bill No. 2366. 
As amended, the bill would require that, prior to issuing a prescription for a schedule II controlled dangerous substance or any other opioid drug which is a prescription drug, a practitioner must discuss with the patient, or the patient’s parent or guardian if the patient is under 18 years of age and is not an emancipated minor, of the risks of developing a physical or psychological dependence on the controlled dangerous substance and alternative treatments that may be available. The practitioner must also obtain a written acknowledgement from the patient or the patient’s parent or guardian that this discussion has taken place. The requirement would not apply to a prescription for a patient who is currently receiving hospice care from a licensed hospice. 
The committee amended the bill to: 
• limit its application to only schedule II controlled dangerous substances and other opioid drugs; 
• require that a practitioner discuss the risks of dependence and alternative treatments with patients, rather than merely inform patients of the risks of dependence, and require that the practitioner obtain a written acknowledgement; 
• require the Division of Consumer Affairs to develop and make available to practitioners guidelines for the patient discussion and a written acknowledgement form; 
• clarify that an emancipated minor would be treated as an adult under the bill; and 
• exempt patients who are currently receiving hospice care.

 For the full text of the bill, click here (hyper link to: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/S2500/2366_R2.PDF)



Press Release: October 3, 2014
Angela Conover

Matt Scuteri

NJ101.5 Interview with PDFNJ Ex. Dir., Angelo M. Valente

posted: 10.3.2014


NJ101.5 Interview with PDFNJ Ex. Dir., Angelo M. Valente

NJ Parents Concerned About Rx Drugs Their Child is Prescribed, Want Information and Alternatives

MILLBURN -- New Jersey parents want more information when their child is prescribed opioids, according to a Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey released today. The study, conducted by FDU Public Mind Poll, found more than two-thirds of New Jersey parents would support a law requiring them to be notified if their child’s prescription contained a potentially addictive medication, such as an opiate or amphetamine.

Nearly 8 in 10 parents say they would want to be made aware of alternative medications, if one was available.  

9 in 10 parents reported they would want to be made aware of alternative medications to opiate based prescriptions, if one was available. 89% were between the ages of 35 to 59 age category 

Most parents would prefer to receive the information about addictive qualities information verbally, however more than a quarter would prefer to be notified in writing.  

According to the National Institutes of Health, substance use during adolescence has been associated with alterations in brain structure, function, and neurocognition.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the prescribing of opioids by clinicians has increased threefold in the last 20 years. “Today, the number of people who die from prescription opioids exceeds the number of those who die from heroin and cocaine, combined,” explained Angelo M. Valente, executive director of PDFNJ.  According to the CDC, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills and each day, 46 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers in the United States.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Addressing prescription opioid abuse by changing prescribing is likely to prevent heroin use in the long term.”

Recently, the American Academy of Neurology released a statement determining that the risks of powerful narcotic painkillers outweigh their benefits for treating chronic headaches, low back pain and fibromyalgia, noting the drugs can cause serious side effects, overdose, addiction and death and that research shows that 50 percent of patients who took opioids for at least three months are still on them five years later.