House OKs Opioid Abuse Prevention Bill

April 26, 2016

The House of Representatives unanimously passed groundbreaking legislation this week to address the state's opioid crisis. HB 5053, An Act Concerning Access to Overdose Reversal Drugs, acts both to help those currently struggling with opioid addiction and prevent new cases of addiction. The governor supports this legislation, which is now in the Senate. Because of widespread support for it, I am hopeful it will be enacted.

The legislation will do the following:

  • require that local emergency medical services carry Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdose, and prohibit insurers from requiring prior authorization for Narcan prescriptions
  • cap first-time painkiller prescriptions to a 7-day supply for both minors and adults except in limited circumstances
  • strengthen Connecticut's prescription monitoring program
  • release health care professionals and good Samaritans from liability when they administer an opioid antagonist, such as Narcan, to treat an overdose
  • add more on-the-ground experts, including an emergency medical technician and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, to the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Policy Council

By limiting the supply of excess painkillers, we can stop these drugs from falling into the wrong hands. I’m proud that Connecticut is leading the way in combating opioid addiction and overdose.