Senator Somers Releases Statement Re: Governor’s Signing of Opioid Legislation

July 7, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. – Today State Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton), Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee released the following statement regarding Governor Malloy’s signing of House Bill 7052, An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse.

“I am happy to report that the governor has signed legislation into law that directly addresses opioid abuse, this legislation is the result of a great deal of work in the Public Health Committee and I am pleased that it has been signed into law,” said Sen. Somers. “Opioid addiction is a heart-breaking crisis that troubles many communities throughout Southeastern Connecticut. This legislation works to limit access to controlled substances and endeavors to create awareness about opioid addiction.”

The legislation, Public Act 17-131, 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

“All-in-all this legislation works to educate and bring awareness to the dangers of opioid abuse and addiction. At the end of the day this bill takes important steps to protect our communities, our families and our children against opioid addiction, and I applaud the governor for supporting this legislation and signing it into law,” said Sen. Somers.