Important New Legislation Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

I am pleased to report that Governor Murphy has signed new legislation addressing the opioid epidemic that continues to ravage our state. The six bills focus on overdose prevention and recovery resilience, while expanding access to medication assisted treatment, strengthening public health and building resiliency among children and families impacted by the crisis.

In 2020, more than 3,000 people died of a drug overdose in New Jersey.

Highlights of the new legislation include measures that:

  • Revise and expand authorization for any person or entity to obtain, distribute, and administer opioid antidotes
  • Permit certain paramedics to administer buprenorphine
  • Require Division of Consumer Affairs to publish retail price of certain opioid antidotes
  • Permit school districts to administer student health surveys after prior written notification to parents and legal guardians
  • Require DCF or court to consider placement of children with relatives or kinship guardians when making placement decision; makes changes to certain standards for initiating petitions to terminate parental rights
  • Require certain health insurers, Medicaid, NJ FamilyCare, SHBP, and SEHBP to cover naloxone without imposing prior authorization requirements

I want to thank Senators Joseph Lagana, Joseph Vitale, Holly Schepisi, Vin Gopal, Shirley Turner, Fred Madden and Dawn Addiego and Assembly members Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Anthony Verrelli, Herb Conaway, Jamel Holley, Angelica Jimenez, Shanique Speight, Gabriela Mosquera, Christopher Tully and John Armato for their leadership in passing this legislation. Harm reduction through the use of naloxone saves lives, and these new laws will help provide the antidote to as many people as possible. 

I also want to remind you of PDFNJ’s #FamilyDayNJ summer promotion, which focuses on spending time with your families doing things you love to do together. Our research has shown that parents who have conversations with their children for at least 15 minutes a day have children who are 67 percent less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Have a #FamilyDayNJ and let us know about it by posting your picture on social media and tagging @DrugFreeNJ and #FamilyDayNJ, follow along and even win prizes. 

Continued wishes to be safe and well.

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