Advocacy Alert: New Jersey Opioid Crisis Bills

November 8, 2018

AB 4300: Tramadol

On June 30, 2018, Assemblyperson Kevin Rooney introduced AB 4300.

The bill, if passed, would amend P.L.1970, c.226, and reclassify tramadol from Schedule IV to Schedule II of the controlled dangerous substance (CDS) schedules. Tramadol, a narcotic pain reliever, is the generic form of Ultram and several other brand-name drugs. It would take effect on the 180th day following its passing.

In a press release on Kevin Rooney's official website, he's quoted as saying, "Fentanyl is fueling the opioid epidemic right now in New Jersey and the nation, but studies show tramadol may be as addictive and its use is increasing. High doses have similar effects to oxycodone, making it a very dangerous drug. The opioid crisis is the result of overprescribing pain medications. This is an effort to prevent that from happening with tramadol. Placing it in the same category as similar pain killers is common sense."

The bill was referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee the same day it was introduced, and no other action has been made.

BHAP supports this bill. Tramadol is a narcotic and is addictive, and the higher classification will help the fight in the opioid epidemic.

We encourage those that operate in New Jersey to reach out to your representative and express your support of AB 4300.

SB 2638: Opioid Antidote Dispensation: John Wagner's Law

On June 4, 2018, Senator Joseph Lagana introduced SB 2638.

The bill, if passed, supplements Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, and amends P.L.2015, c.74 and P.L.2007, c.244. It would require opioid antidote dispensation to be monitored under the Prescription Monitoring Program, and authorized certain entities to submit information regarding the antidote administration for inclusion in a secondary linked database. It would become effective immediately upon passing.

The bill was referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee the same day it was introduced, and no other action has been made. It's the same bill as AB 2088.

BHAP supports this bill. It enables prescribing physicians to better identify individuals that are not using opioid medications properly and have had a history of overdose so that the physician can provide appropriate education and intervention.

We encourage those that operate in New Jersey to reach out to your representative and express your support to SB 2638.

For more information on the current laws governing treatment programs and sober living facilities in New Jersey, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for the state.

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