Overdose Prevention Campaign: Expanding Access to Naloxone
In June 2012, we launched the second phase of the Overdose Prevention Campaign to advocate for the enactment of S2082/A3095, the Opioid Antidote and Overdose Prevention Act, to expand access to naloxone, a life-saving medication that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone has no addictive properties and can be safely and effectively administered by anyone who undergoes a simple training.
Unfortunately, because it is only available by prescription, naloxone is not widely accessible to those who need it and a complex set of laws and regulations currently govern when and by whom it may be used. Our bill would reform and clarify some of these requirements by providing legal protections to medical professionals who prescribe naloxone and laypeople who administer the medication in an overdose emergency.
On May 3, 2013, Governor Christie signed into law the Overdose Prevention Act, a modified version of this bill. The law will encourage doctors to prescribe the medication to those at-risk of an overdose, as well as protect friends, family members and acquaintances who administer the medication in a life-or-death situation from legal repercussions. New Jersey is now well on its way to implementing a comprehensive and objective public health strategy to combat the rising number of drug overdose deaths.