ASBURY PARK, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a half dozen bills into law as part of a legislation package meant to address the state’s opioid crisis.
The governor says the bills use overdose prevention and recovery resilience, while expanding access to medication assisted treatment, strengthening public health dated and building resiliency among children and families impacted by the crisis.
“Over the last three years, my Administration, alongside our partners in the Legislature and many passionate advocates, has worked to meaningfully combat the opioid crisis that has held our state in its grip for far too long,” said Murphy in a statement. “We have worked tirelessly to erase the stigma associated with opioid use disorder and people who use drugs, close gaps in treatment, expand access and use of life-saving medicines like naloxone, and support the work of syringe exchange programs and harm reduction centers. The fight against the opioid epidemic has required a focus on harm reduction by providing safe and compassionate access points to care and by securing funding for vital programs and recovery services. By signing these bills today, we are strengthening the foundation of these critical resources and programs, keeping families together, and furthering our commitment to saving lives and ending the opioid epidemic in New Jersey.”
The bills signed into law do the following:
- 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.
“The opioid epidemic is a national public health crisis that devastates families every day,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone. “We know that harm reduction is critical to saving lives and getting the help individuals who suffer from opioid use disorder need to combat this epidemic. As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve helped pass legislation in Congress to address this crisis and will continue to work at the federal level to save lives. I’m proud to join Governor Murphy today as we take another step forward in expanding access to treatments and lifesaving medications in our state.”