At least seven states now require co-prescribing Narcan (naloxone) with opioids: Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
Laws in California and Ohio require prescribers to offer naloxone co-prescriptions in certain circumstances.
“It can make a difference in New Jersey, as well,” said state Sen. Anthony M. Bucco, R-Boonton, a co-sponsor of the measure, which had bi-partisan support.
Bucco noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends co-prescribing Narcan (naloxone) and opioids in its “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.”
New Jersey in recent years has conducted naloxone giveaways in an effort to help stem the tide of opioid-related fatalities.
“Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the nation, and the pandemic has only increased the problem in the Garden State,” he said. “Given the dangers of opioid misuse, it makes sense to provide a treatment that can be the difference between life and death.”
Those affected will be “high-risk patients with a history of substance abuse or those with an elevated daily prescription,” Bucco noted. “These individuals are at greater risk of overdose.”
The measure now goes to the state House of Representatives. If approved there, a bill would go to Gov. Phil Murphy to sign into law.
Naloxone can in certain instances reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids by blocking their effects on the brain.
BE WARNED, THOUGH: Naloxone (Narcan) isn't a miracle drug or fallback option, health and law enforcement professionals emphasize. Opioid users can still die depending on how much is in their system and in what combination.
NJ Addiction Treatment Hotline: 1-844-ReachNJ (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
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