Connecticut’s Governor Dannel Malloy just announced a number of proposals for combating the state’s opioid crisis that he has now sent to the Connecticut legislature for consideration during the 2017 legislative session.
Stating that every town and city in the State has been affected by opioid addiction, the Governor said the package of statutory reforms are intended to “reduce the potential for people to become addicted to opioid medications that could cause a life-threatening overdose.”
We believe each of the steps below deserves serious consideration:
- Requiring Electronic Prescriptions
- Facilitating in the Destruction of Unused Medication: Under current law, only the person prescribed an opioid medication or their legal caregivers can dispose of unused medication, including after the patient has died. The Governor is proposing to expand this ability to home health care agency registered nurses. This step will ensure that unused opioid medications are not sitting in medicine cabinets and fits well with the “Mind Your Meds” movement promoted by state agencies, which encourages the proper destruction of unused medications through means such as a drop box program.
- Allowing Patients to Refuse Opioids through a Directive: The Governor is proposing to allow patients to include in their personal medical files a form indicating that they do not want to be prescribed or receive opioid medication.
- Expand the Requirement to Provide Information about the Risk of Addiction to Adults: Currently, prescribers are required to share information on the risk of addiction when prescribing opioids to minors. The Governor is proposing to expand that requirement to include adults in order to increase the communication between prescribers and patients, ensuring that all patients have the information they need when taking potentially addictive medications.
- Encourage Data Sharing Among State Agencies: The Governor is proposing to ease statutory restrictions on data sharing between state agencies. This concept was widely discussed in both the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council’s final report and Yale’s report that the Governor commissioned. Increased data sharing across state agencies would better help the state track trends, determine the effectiveness of the current allocation of resources, and create a more comprehensive system for tracking this epidemic.
If you or someone you know are battling addiction to drugs and/or alcohol in Connecticut or New Hampshire, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is producing rates of recovery that are more that 300% above the national average. To learn more or to talk to one of our Recovery Specialists, visit www.awarerecoverycare.com.