ASSEMBLY, No. 3715
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
Assemblyman HERB CONAWAY, JR.
District 7 (Burlington)
Assemblyman DANIEL R. BENSON
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Assemblyman RAJ MUKHERJI
District 33 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblywoman SHAVONDA E. SUMTER
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Assemblywoman MARLENE CARIDE
District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblymen Rible and Johnson
Directs poison control and drug information program to establish clearinghouse of drug overdose information, report on trends, and provide education on safe storage and disposal of medications; appropriates $500,000.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on October 23, 2014, with amendments.
An Act concerning drug overdose monitoring and prevention, amending P.L.1982, c.177, and making an appropriation.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.1982, c.177 (C.26:2-119) is amended to read as follows:
1. The Legislature finds that every year there are a substantial number of accidental poisonings especially among young children and that the possibility of serious injury or death which results from the ingestion of poisonous substances could be dramatically reduced by the development of a poison control and drug information program.
The Legislature further finds that, as of 2014, there has been a substantial and rapid increase in the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses stemming from the overuse and abuse of narcotic drugs, including prescription opioids, and the State’s poison control and drug information program is a useful and appropriate vehicle to facilitate improved data collection and monitoring in relation to these overdoses, in a manner that may allow for the better analysis of trends in this area, and the prompt detection of overly potent or adulterated batches of drugs or chemicals being abused.
(cf: P.L.1982, c.177, s.1)
2. Section 4 of P.L.1982, c.177 (C.26:2-122) is amended to read as follows:
4. a. The [principal activity of the] program shall be primarily responsible for answering requests by telephone for poison information and making recommendations for appropriate management and treatment of poisoning exposure and overdose victims. [Services of the poison control and drug information] In conjunction with this primary responsibility, the program shall [also include] :
[a. Evaluating] (1) evaluate whether treatment can be accomplished in the home setting or whether transport to an emergency treatment facility is required;
[b. Recommending] (2) recommend treatment measures to appropriate personnel;
[c. Providing] (3) provide follow-up education to prevent future similar incidents;
[d. Providing community education programs designed to improve public awareness of poisoning and overdose problems and to educate the public regarding prevention;] and
[e. Answering] (4) answer drug information questions from health [professionals] care providers by providing current and accurate information relating to drugs and their therapeutic uses.
b. In addition to its primary responsibilities, the program shall provide community education programs, which are designed to improve public awareness of:
(1) poisoning and overdose problems and prevention methods; and
(2) the safe and proper storage and disposal of medications, and the benefits of locking medicine cabinets, using medication lock-boxes, and using prescription disposal drop-boxes.
c. The program shall also establish and maintain a clearinghouse for drug overdose information that is reported by health care providers pursuant to this subsection.
(1) 1[A] After treating a patient for a drug overdose, regardless of whether the overdose resulted in death, a1 health care provider shall 1, based on the information available,1 notify the program 1upon receipt of any report or analysis as may be necessary to provide accurate notification under this paragraph, or1 within 1[24 hours after treating a patient for a drug overdose, regardless of whether the overdose resulted in death] 10 days after providing treatment, whichever is earliest1. Such notification shall include: (a) a description of the circumstances surrounding the overdose, including, but not limited to, an indication of the cause and location of the exposure; (b) demographic information, including, but not limited to, the 1[name,]1 age, sex, and county of residence of the person who suffered the overdose; and (c) an indication of the type of drug that caused the overdose.
(2) The program shall maintain and compile the overdose information reported by health care providers pursuant to this subsection, and shall regularly monitor and analyze the information collected, in order to: (a) identify new trends and emerging patterns in overdoses and drug use; and (b) determine, at the earliest opportunity, the presence or likely presence of overly potent or adulterated batches of drugs or chemicals being abused.
(3) On at least an annual basis, the program shall compile a report that describes the trends and emerging patterns discovered during the reporting period. Each report shall be transmitted, via electronic or other means, to the State Police, the governing body of each municipality in the State, and, to the extent practicable, each licensed health care provider in the State. Each such report shall also be posted at a publicly accessible location on the program’s Internet website.
(4) If an analysis of drug overdose information pursuant to this section suggests that an overly potent or adulterated batch of drugs or chemicals is being abused, the program shall immediately prepare a drug toxicity warning notice and transmit the warning notice, via electronic or other means, to the State Police, the governing body of each municipality in the State, and, to the extent practicable, each licensed health care provider in the State. The drug toxicity warning notice shall also be posted, without delay, at a publicly accessible location on the program’s Internet website.
(cf: P.L.1982, c.177, s.4)
3. Section 5 of P.L.1982, c.177 (C.26:2-123) is amended to read as follows:
5. The program shall utilize physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other necessary personnel trained in various aspects of toxicology, poison control, and drug information retrieval and analysis. The program shall also work to bolster or otherwise expand its epidemiology service, as may be necessary to facilitate and improve the analysis of overdose information, as required by subsection c. of section 4 of P.L.1982, c.177 (C.26:2-122).
(cf: P.L.1982, c.177, s.5)
4. In addition to the ordinary amounts that are annually appropriated by the Legislature to the poison control and information program, established pursuant to P.L.1982, c.177 (C.26:2-119 et seq.), there is appropriated from the General Fund, a supplemental sum of $500,000. The supplemental moneys herein appropriated shall be used by the poison control and information program to pay the costs associated with bolstering or expanding the program’s epidemiology service, hiring health educators to engage in community educational programming, and purchasing or developing educational materials, as necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act.
5. This act shall take effect immediately.