Senator Witkos Applauds Passage of Legislation Combating Opioid Abuse

June 7, 2017

Hartford – Today Deputy Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) hailed the final passage of HB 7052, An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse.

“Opioid addiction is a deadly problem that has gripped our state and our nation. This legislation is a vaccine to the opioid epidemic. While it is not a cure, it is moving our state in the right direction to curb deadly overdoses. It is not a simple problem, and therefore there is no simple solution. Rather, Connecticut must work to combat this devastating problem from multiple fronts. This legislation is an important part of our efforts to prevent addiction before it happens and to increase access to treatment for those who need help. I thank all lawmakers for coming together to pass this important legislation,” said Sen. Witkos.

The bill makes several changes to prevent and treat opioid drug abuse, including:

  • Requiring individual and group health insurers to cover medically necessary detox treatments
  • Requiring a treatment facility to use admissions criteria developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which urges admission regardless of health status or addiction levels
  • Limiting access to controlled substances by allowing certain registered nurses employed by home health care agencies to destroy or dispose of them
  • Requiring practitioners, when prescribing opioids, to discuss with all patients, rather than only minors, the risks associated with opioid drug use
  • The bill reduces, from a seven day supply to a five day supply, the maximum amount of an opioid drug a practitioner may prescribe to a minor
  • The bill requires prescriptions for controlled substances to be electronically transmitted – with a few exceptions including if the prescriber demonstrates that they do not have the technological capacity
  • The bill also creates a standing order – a non-patient specific prescription to licensed pharmacists to prescribe Naloxone

After passing unanimously out of the Senate, HB 7052 now heads to the governor’s desk and awaits his signature.