NEWTOWN, Conn. – State Rep. J.P. Sredzinski (R-Newtown, Monroe) applauded the Public Health Committee's unanimous vote on Monday, March 21, to advance legislation that aims to combat the state's opioid addiction crisis.
Senate Bill 352 -- "An Act Concerning Prescriptions for and the Dispensing of Opioid Antagonists and Opioid Drugs" -- received bipartisan support from committee members and was unanimously voted out of the Public Health Committee.
The bill limits prescriptions to a seven-day supply for adults taking opioids for the first time. Refills could be obtained at the doctor's discretion, if there's persistent pain. The bill also outlines exceptions for chronic pain, cancer-associated pain or for palliative care.
Under the bill, doctors cannot prescribe more than a seven-day supply for a minor and they must discuss the necessity and risks with the minor's parent or guardian.
"This bill is an important step by the legislature in the fight against opioid addiction in our state," said Sredzinski. "I've heard time and time again, many individuals become addicted to opioids after they or a family member or friend are prescribed the medication and then they end up experimenting with the excess medication down the line.
"By imposing a tighter limit on the number of opioids a person can receive in one prescription, we are cutting down on the number of excess drugs that are out there and available for potential abuse."
Sredzinski, other regional legislators, state and local officials, and medical professionals, hosted a community forum attended by over 200 people on March 3 in Shelton, to spark further discussion on opioid addiction and what the state can do. Prior to the session's start, Sredzinski also sent several letters to leaders of the Public Health Committee, asking them to raise various bills addressing opioid addiction, including allowing pharmacies to collect unused opioids.
Senate Bill 352 will now be debated by the House of Representatives and Senate. It will need to be passed out by a majority of both chambers before it heads to the governor's desk for his signature. This session of the General Assembly adjourns on May 4 at midnight.
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