Rooney bills fighting opioid epidemic become law

TRENTON, N.J. – Two bills sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney to combat the destructive opioid crisis in New Jersey were signed Monday by Gov. Phil Murphy.

“Drug addiction and overdose has become a life-and-death problem in every community in the state,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “The Legislature unanimously approved these measures, and the governor’s signature demonstrates the bipartisan commitment to supporting law enforcement, first responders, and healthcare professionals in the daily fight to save lives and prevent addiction.”

Rooney’s legislation S2244/A3292 requiring opioid medications to include a sticker warning patients of the danger of addiction and overdose, and SJR35/AJR95 designating October 6 as Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day now become law.

“Drugs are claiming too many lives, and no segment of the population is immune,” said Rooney, noting that more than 3,000 people in the state died from overdose in 2018. “It’s imperative we take every opportunity to inform the public about the risk of prescription painkillers and the devastating consequences of drug dependence and heroin abuse.”

Rooney is also the sponsor of a bill (A5438) requiring death certificates to include the name and class of drug that contributed to a fatal overdose. That bill passed the Assembly in June and is currently in the Senate.

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