Parental Notification Bill Passes NJ Assembly Health Committee with Unanimous Support

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Over the last two and a half years PDFNJ has championed a bill in the NJ Legislature that would require prescribers (physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, etc.) to have a conversation with parents/guardians of patients 18 and under before prescribing opiates. The conversation would inform parents and patients of the potential addictive quality of these medicines and provide non-opiate alternatives that are available. This hurdle could not have been cleared without the support of so many of you who have written letters of support, called your local legislators, and attended prevention leadership meetings over the last two and a half years.

The next step for Bill A3424/S2156 is a full vote in the General Assembly.  The bill passed the Senate on 10/20/16 by 35-1 vote. If the General Assembly votes on the bill in the next several weeks, it will then proceed to the governor for his signature. We will keep you posted as the bill progresses.

Once again, a sincere appreciation is extended to everyone who participated in helping to make this bill a reality and most importantly helping to save lives.   



Lagana, Pinkin, Vainieri Huttle, Caride, Caputo & Wimberly Bill Enlisting the Aid of Physicians in the Conversation with Teens on Opioid Addiction Advances

 (TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Lagana, Nancy Pinkin, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Marlene Caride, Ralph Caputo and Benjie Wimberly enlisting the aid of healthcare providers in discussing the dangers of certain opioid medications prior to issuing a prescription to patients who are minors.

     "We've seen the devastation the opioid crisis has created in many of our communities," said Lagana (D-Bergen, Passaic). "This discussion needs to be had as early as possible and from as many angles as possible to reach our young people before it's too late."

     The bill (A3424) would require health care professionals with prescribing authority to discuss the addiction potential of any opioid drug that is a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance prior to issuing a prescription for the medication to a patient who is under 18 years of age. The prescriber would be required to have this discussion with the patient, along with the patient's parent or guardian, if the patient is not an emancipated minor.

     "The battle against opioid addiction needs to be a continued and coordinated one from all aspects of society," said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). "We've passed legislation to empower law enforcement and first responders to aid in the crisis. Now it's time to enlist the aid of doctors to help reinforce the message on the dangers of opioid and other prescription drug addictions."

     The prescriber will specifically be required to discuss the risks of developing a physical or psychological dependence on the medication and, if the prescriber deems it appropriate, any alternative treatments that may be available.

     "Sadly, sometimes the last person a teenager wants to listen to is their parents," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "So maybe if they hear from professionals, first hand, who have witnessed the devastating ramifications of addiction, perhaps it will be a much-needed dose of reality."

     "Teens tend to think they are infallible at that age, which is why many fail to realize how easy it is to become prone to addiction," said Caride (D-Bergen / Passaic). "Hopefully the perspective of a licensed health professional will lend some weight to this conversation."

     "The opioid crisis is a frightening and deadly phenomenon that has claimed far too many lives already," said Caputo (D-Essex). "We need the help of physicians to join in this battle. The earlier and more often we can talk to kids about this, the better."

     "We need a full court press when it comes to dealing with the opioid crisis," said Wimberly (D-Bergen / Passaic). "If health care professionals join in the conversation along with parents and educators hopefully it will make a difference in the lives of many."

     The prescriber will also be required to include a note in the patient's medical record indicating that the discussion took place. The bill does not require the discussion when prescribing medication to patients who are under hospice care.

     The measure was approved by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.


Posted 1/11/2017 8:19 AM

I lost my 25 year old son on 11/26/2016. His addiction began while in the military after being prescribed Percocet for shoulder surgery. His ex-wife was a heroin addict who he was sure he could cure. After he decided to end his military career to spend more time with his newborn son. He began using heroin when purchasing opioids on the street became too expensive. I confronted him 12/27/15 and he went to detox and spent over 10 months in an IOP. He was clean for over 11 months when I found my son dead in my living room, due to a rela Thank all of you for educating young people and their parents of the dangers of opioids when prescribed for procedures that can be handled by non-opioid alternatives! A little pain now or unbearable pain later.... Kudos to you all!

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