Three quarters of the inmates in Atlantic County’s jail are addicted to opioids and the jail is the first in the state to test out a one-year program offering methadone to inmates, reports Joe Hernandez for NewsWorks. The Atlantic/Cape May, Ocean and Burlington court systems in South Jersey run so-called Drug Courts, which help divert some people with abuse disorders to recovery services and away from the criminal justice system, but not everyone is eligible and many still end up in county jails.
The Buena Vista Township council is set to vote Monday on a resolution to support a bill in the state legislature that would prohibit doctors from prescribing more than seven-days’ worth of opioid painkillers the first time they prescribe the drug to a patient. Senate bill S-2035, introduced in April, is sponsored by Shirley Turner, Robert Gordon and Jennifer Beck. It requires that a medical practitioner “shall not issue an initial prescription for an opioid drug…in a quantity exceeding a seven-day supply.” Crazy to think, but being prescribed a month’s worth of dangerous narcotics is not an uncommon problem! You can track the bill in Trenton here.
Frank LoBiondo, R-NJ second district, on Wednesday voted in favor of establishing an inter-agency task force to assess pain medication prescription practices. The bill, supported by representatives from both parties, will now proceed to the Senate. Opioid prescription and addiction is a huge issue in South Jersey and Route 40 hopes to follow this topic closely.