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A New Bill to Help in Combating Opioid Overdose and Substance Abuse in Connecticut

Governor Dannel P. Malloy hosted a ceremony for the signing of a bill in the sea city of New London, Connecticut to mark the passing of the legislature which he introduced to help in curbing the abuse and misuse of heroin and prescription opioids in Connecticut. The legislation, which was approved in the last month in the State’s Senate, is meant to among other things improve the prescribing practices and prescription and monitoring programs. Moreover, the law is meant to increase education and tools that are accessible to health care professionals.

Additionally, the law increases accessibility of naloxone, an overdose reversing drug that can be used in overdose-related emergencies. Gov. Malloy observed that his administration had decided to treat heroin and opioid addiction as a serious and urgent public health concern instead of it being a crime. The governor reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the war against opioid and heroin misuse and abuse is won. Further, Gov. Malloy observed that this legislation will usher in a new dispensation whereby lives would be saved and the public health problem would be addressed. The law is tailored to streamline the process guide practitioners in identifying potential abuse and misuse that might lead to overprescription of opioid-related medication.

The legislation has made it mandatory for doctors to consider a patient’s medical history to check if this patient has previously received prescription drugs from other pharmacists or prescribers. This move will help to ensure that opioid medications are neither over prescribed nor unscrupulously obtained by cunning addicts. Under this very law, death from opioid or heroin overdose will hopefully be a thing of the past. This is so because of the provision of the drug naloxone, which will be more available for prescription to counter heroin-related medical emergencies. However, prior to the release of this drug, the legislation recommends that proper training and certification be accorded to pharmacists who will be tasked with prescribing naloxone to Connecticut families across the state.

In Connecticut alone, the State Police have been on the forefront and the troopers have saved lives that would have been lost from drug overdose by timely administering NARCAN. It is worth noting that this law is not the first time that Connecticut has attempted to address the runaway cases of opioid use and abuse.

It will be remembered that Gov. Malloy first attempted this feat in 2012 by implementing the famous Good Samaritan laws. Accordingly, these laws aimed at improving patient safety, combat overdose and access to effective treatment. The Good Samaritan laws ratified in 2012 have afforded legal protection to people who try to save their friends, relatives and loved ones from abuse and misuse of opioid or heroin. Additionally, in his capacity as a the head of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors, Gov. Malloy has helped in establishing a multi-stage agreement aimed at expanding treatment choices for opioid abusers and improving prescription database. Finally, the Governor observes that the state is on its way to recovery in a society that addresses addiction as a public health issue and not a crime, thereby saving countless lives.

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