Senator JOSEPH F. VITALE
District 19 (Middlesex)
Senator NIA H. GILL
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Permits syringes and related supplies to be exchanged via postal mail.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on March 9, 2021, with amendments.
An Act concerning sterile syringe programs and amending P.L.2006, c.99.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 4 of P.L.2006, c.99 (C.26:5C-28) is amended to read as follows:
4. a. In accordance with the provisions of section 3 of P.L.2006, c.99 (C.26:5C-27), a municipality may establish or authorize establishment of a sterile syringe access program that is approved by the commissioner to provide for the exchange of hypodermic syringes and needles.
(1) A municipality that establishes a sterile syringe access program, at a fixed location or through a mobile access component, may operate the program directly or contract with one or more of the following entities to operate the program: a hospital or other health care facility licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.), a federally qualified health center, a public health agency, a substance abuse treatment program, an AIDS service organization, or another nonprofit entity designated by the municipality. These entities shall also be authorized to contract directly with the commissioner in any municipality in which the governing body has authorized the operation of sterile syringe access programs by ordinance pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection. The municipality or entity under contract shall implement the sterile syringe access program in consultation with a federally qualified health center and the New Jersey Office on Minority and Multicultural Health in the Department of Health, and in a culturally competent manner.
(2) Pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2006, c.99 (C.26:5C-27), a municipality whose governing body has authorized the operation of sterile syringe access programs within the municipality may require within the authorizing ordinance that an entity as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection obtain approval from the municipality, in a manner prescribed by the authorizing ordinance, to operate a sterile syringe access program prior to obtaining approval from the commissioner to operate such a program, or may permit the entity to obtain approval to operate such a program by application directly to the commissioner without obtaining prior approval from the municipality.
(3) Two or more
municipalities may jointly establish or authorize establishment of a sterile
syringe access program that
operates within those municipalities pursuant to adoption of an ordinance by each participating municipality pursuant to this section.
b. A sterile syringe access program shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) Sterile syringes and needles shall be provided at no cost to consumers 18 years of age and older;
(2) Program staff shall be trained and regularly supervised in: harm reduction; substance use disorder, medical and social service referrals; and infection control procedures, including universal precautions and needle stick injury protocol; and programs shall maintain records of staff and volunteer training and of hepatitis C and tuberculosis screening provided to volunteers and staff;
(3) The program shall offer information about HIV, hepatitis C and other bloodborne pathogens and prevention materials at no cost to consumers, and shall seek to educate all consumers about safe and proper disposal of needles and syringes;
(4) The program shall provide information and referrals to consumers, including HIV testing options, access to medication-assisted substance use disorder treatment programs and other substance use disorder treatment programs, and available health and social service options relevant to the consumer's needs. The program shall encourage consumers to receive an HIV test, and shall, when appropriate, develop an individualized substance use disorder treatment plan for each participating consumer;
(5) The program shall screen out consumers under 18 years of age from access to syringes and needles, and shall refer them to substance use disorder treatment and other appropriate programs for youth;
(6) The program shall develop a plan for the handling and disposal of used syringes and needles in accordance with requirements set forth at N.J.A.C.7:26-3A.1 et seq. for regulated medical waste disposal pursuant to the "Comprehensive Regulated Medical Waste Management Act," P.L.1989, c.34 (C.13:1E-48.1 et al.), and shall also develop and maintain protocols for post-exposure treatment;
(7) (a) The program may obtain a standing order, pursuant to the "Overdose Prevention Act," P.L.2013, c.46 (C.24:6J-1 et seq.), authorizing program staff to carry and dispense naloxone hydrochloride or another opioid antidote to consumers and the family members and friends thereof;
(b) The program shall provide overdose prevention information to consumers, the family members and friends thereof, and other persons associated therewith, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of section 5 of the "Overdose Prevention Act," P.L.2013, c.46 (C.24:6J-5);
(8) The program shall maintain the confidentiality of consumers by the use of confidential identifiers, which shall consist of the first two letters of the first name of the consumer's mother and the two-digit day of birth and two-digit year of birth of the consumer, or by the use of such other uniform Statewide mechanism as may be approved by the commissioner for this purpose;
(9) The program shall provide a uniform identification card that has been approved by the commissioner to consumers and to staff and volunteers involved in transporting, exchanging or possessing syringes and needles, or shall provide for such other uniform Statewide means of identification as may be approved by the commissioner for this purpose;
(10) The program shall provide consumers at the time of enrollment with a schedule of program operation hours and locations, in addition to information about prevention and harm reduction and substance use disorder treatment services; and
(11) The program shall establish and implement accurate data collection methods and procedures as required by the commissioner for the purpose of evaluating the sterile syringe access programs, including the monitoring and evaluation on a quarterly basis of:
(a) sterile syringe access program participation rates, including the number of consumers who enter substance use disorder treatment programs and the status of their treatment;
(b) the effectiveness of the sterile syringe access programs in meeting their objectives, including, but not limited to, return rates of syringes and needles distributed to consumers and the impact of the sterile syringe access programs on intravenous drug use; and
(c) the number and type of referrals provided by the sterile syringe access programs and the specific actions taken by the sterile syringe access programs on behalf of each consumer.
c. 1[Consistent with federal law and notwithstanding any provision of State law to the contrary, a sterile syringe access program and its consumers may exchange syringes and other related supplies, as determined by the commissioner, via postal mail.
d.]1 A municipality may terminate a sterile syringe access program established or authorized pursuant to this act, which is operating within that municipality, if its governing body approves such an action by ordinance, in which case the municipality shall notify the commissioner of its action in a manner prescribed by regulation of the commissioner.
1d. To the extent permitted under federal law, and subject to the requirements of federal law, notwithstanding any provision of State law to the contrary, a sterile syringe access program and its consumers may exchange syringes and other related supplies, as determined by the commissioner, via postal mail.1
(cf: P.L.2017, c.131, s.104)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.