Gov. Malloy Signs Opioid Legislation On Overdose Awareness Day
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today marked International Overdose Awareness Day by holding a ceremonial bill signing in Hartford, where he signed legislation that he introduced earlier this year and developed in cooperation with a number of lawmakers that is designed to further the state’s efforts combatting the opioid crisis. It builds upon a series of reforms that Governor Malloy signed on the topic since taking office in 2011.
Data recently released by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) - in particular the increase in fentanyl related overdoes - shows that we must continue to focus on prevention and treatment in combatting the opioid crisis.
“Opioid addiction and prescription drug abuse is a disease that is impacting nearly every community and people of every background,” Governor Malloy said. “It is a complex crisis that does not have one root cause, nor does it have simple solution, but we need to do everything in our power to treat and prevent it. Our work on this front will not be finished until our communities and our families are no longer struggling with the grave costs of this illness.”
The Connecticut State Police are reporting that since state troopers completed training in 2014 providing them with the skills needed to administer naloxone – the medicine that is used to reverse the effects of someone overdosing on opioids. To date, they have saved over 184 people who were experiencing overdoses with the medication.
Enactment of New State Laws Builds Upon Recent Efforts
“By engaging providers and strengthening partnerships, this bill continues progress to curb the opioid epidemic – and prevent new victims,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “It is part of a bigger strategy to address addiction and recovery so our residents can live healthier, more productive lives. I applaud the Governor and the legislature for their commitment to a healthier state.”
The legislation is Public Act 17-131, An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse. Among its several provisions, the new law:
• Increases data sharing between state agencies regarding opioid abuse and opioid overdose deaths
• Facilitates the destruction of unused prescription medication by utilizing registered nurses employed for home health care agencies
• Increases security of controlled substances prescriptions by requiring certain scheduled drugs be electronically prescribed
• Allows patients to file a voluntary non-opioid form in their medical records indicating that they do not want to be prescribed or administered opioid drugs
• Expands requirements about information regarding provider communications about of the risk and signs of addiction, and the dangers of drug interactions to cover all opioid prescriptions – current law is just for minors
• Reduces the maximum opioid drug prescription for minors from seven days to five days
• Requires the Department of Public Health to put information online about how prescribers can obtain certification for suboxone and other medicines to treat opioid use disorder
• Requires individual and group health insurers to cover medically necessary detox treatment, as defined by American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria
• Requires alcohol and drug treatment facilities use ASAM criteria for admission guidelines
Office of Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman