The Opioid and Heroin Addiction Prevention Act of New Jersey

By Brian K. Everett | NJ Poverty Reality

Whereas nearly half of all individuals who inject heroin began their addiction due to a dependence to prescription opioids, and whereas more and more New Jersey residents fall victim to addictive opioid prescriptions and heroin abuse, the following bill will take aim at the source of opioid and heroin abuse.

All of the current legislative action concerning the topic thus far has focused heavily on overdose antidotes, counseling and rehab for abusers, and resource distribution and awareness. Legislative action has focused almost entirely on initiatives that aim to take care of opioid abusers after they have already succumbed to the addictive properties of prescription opioids.

This bill moves to prevent addiction from being a side effect of temporary pain:

heroinThe Opioid and Heroin Prevention Act of 2016

The Opioid and Heroin Addiction Prevention Act (OHAP) redefines medical procedures and guidelines for patients who are experiencing temporary pain. OHAP aims to define temporary pain due to the fact that it will subside either on its own within a week’s time, or, with the aid of guided physical therapy with a week’s time. Since the pain experienced by patients for the following injuries will subside on its own within a short time period, the State of New Jersey no longer views it to be best medical practice to prescribe opioid medications which have addictive side effect possibilities. The following ailments, injuries, and procedures no longer qualify for opioid prescriptions resulting from the first visit to a licensed medical professional:

-Wisdom tooth removal

-Slip and falls resulting in bruising

-Singular broken bones

-Back aches/displacement/herniation of discs

-Car accidents resulting in bruising/singular broken bones

-Surgery resulting in patient’s discharge in the same day

Licensed medical professionals are allowed to prescribe opioid medications for the above injuries, ailments, and procedures if a patient’s pain does no subside within a week’s time (7 days) of the first visit for treatment, or remains in the hospital for more than one day.

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Of course, I am not a medical doctor, but I don’t think a legislative initiative like OHAP is too far-fetched. Let’s start the conversation about real opioid and heroin addiction reform with OHAP. Let’s ask the question as to why the best method to treat a bad bruise is to prescribe drugs with addiction as a side effect.

I want New Jersey’s legislators to read about OHAP. I challenge them to copy it, and put it through Trenton, especially if they’ve used personal anecdotes in speeches or campaign initiatives.

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3 thoughts on “The Opioid and Heroin Addiction Prevention Act of New Jersey

  1. NJ REPUBLICAN JOSEPH RUDY RULLO STATEMENT OF POLICY FOR HEROIN & OPIATE ADDICTION IN NJ:
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    The heroin epidemic throughout the nation specifically in NJ has many facets to its origin. Heroin is an opiate with the same molecular structure found in legal prescription drugs. A known gateway for heroin addiction is both legal and illegal prescription Oxycontin and percocet to name a few. On the black market illegal prescription pills are sold for as much as $40.00 per pill by both legal & illegal prescription holders. The addiction comes when both legal & illegal users of prescribed opiates are not able to afford the opiate pills, and turn to heroin at $5.00 per fix. The opiate pill epidemic came in like a storm in 2003/2004. Additionally in some cases prior legal users of oxycontin are no longer eligible for their prescription, so they resort to heroin to satisfy their addiction. The state of NJ needs to have legislative hearings to examine the impact of holding doctors responsible for the drugs they prescribe, the prescriptions they write, the intent of the drug companies, politicians stake in the drug industry in relation to campaign donations, the elimination of any breaks to 1st time drug dealers for heroin or opiates, redirecting law enforcement infrastructure & courts funding to focus on illegal opiate distribution, and or parties involved with its availability for uses not intended by law. Most important there needs to be a realization opiate addiction makes even 1st time users defenseless to its addictive properties. With that being said a system should be put in place to transition all users of opiates to exit the drug use after the medical issue is resolved. In many cases legal users of opiates use their prescriptions to subsidize their income. In turn it is a vicious cycle we only see in terms of addiction of our youth, deaths, and wasted productivity in society.

  2. Nice…leave it to a statehouse full of LAWYERS to decide the circumstances under which MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS (i.e., “doctors” for you f-ing dummies in Trenton) can prescribe pain killing medication.

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