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Monday, April 25, 2016

House Passes ‘Comprehensive’ Opioid Bill

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

After a floor debate laced with stories of the toll drug addiction has taken across Connecticut, the House today unanimously passed what legislators described as a comprehensive measure aimed at curbing the epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse.

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Sue Kruczek, wearing her son Nick’s memorial hockey jersey, speaks earlier this year in favor of a bill to cap the supply of opioid prescriptions. Nick died at age 20 of a heroin overdose after initially taking prescription opioids. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Arielle Levin Becker for ctmirror.org

The proposal, approved 144-0, would require first responders to carry overdose-reversing drugs, limit initial opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies in most cases involving acute pain, make changes to a prescription monitoring program aimed at helping prescribers identify patients who could be misusing drugs, and charge the state’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Council with developing a plan to reduce the number of opioid-induced deaths in the state.

Drug overdoses now kill an average of two people in Connecticut each day – more than car accidents. Last year, 723 people died from accidental drug overdoses in the state, and more than 60 percent involved opioids.

“They’re digging graves in every town in Connecticut,” Public Health Committee Co-Chair Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said. He noted that more than 50 bills on the topic were submitted to the committee at the start of the session – a sign of the level of concern among lawmakers across the state.

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Posted 04/25/16 at 10:26 PM  Permalink



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