New Jersey Residents Gain Support For Overdose Victims

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New Jersey Residents Gain Support For Overdose VictimsIn New Jersey, the residents are falling prey to two of the most dangerous drugs known today. Heroin, considered the most addictive substance, and opioid painkillers, which hold the highest death rate, have forced legislative representatives to act. With over 6,000 deaths in the state since 2005, and the number continually climbing, it has become obvious that something must be done to protect the community.

Heroin and painkillers are not only highly addictive, but they also pose a very high risk for health catastrophes. Both substances are relatively easy to find and most people are not fully educated on the risks or effects of the drugs. While in the past, most of the focus has been geared towards stopping the influx of heroin, cutting down the availability of both drugs on the street and heightening the consequences for possessing either, the situation has become such that requires action in another standpoint.

In the past, New Jersey has faced the option of passing a bill that would pardon individuals who call for emergency response for an overdose, or from administering an overdose counter measure. This bill would have included other drug users, allowing them to call for help without fearing jail time or other consequences. This bill was not passed due to the many who felt that the pardon was unjust.

However, since then the bill has been reintroduced due to the continual number of people who die of overdoses, who otherwise could have been saved, had their company not been afraid to call emergency response personnel. The situation at hand has reached a point in which many feel that the number of lives that could possibly be saved is more important that stickling for arrests. The concept for many may seem abstract. Considering though, that in 2007 alone 700 people died from overdoses which could have been reversed with timely medical attention the idea does not seem so outrageous.

Aside from this, New Jersey legislators are looking into other reinforcements that might improve the drug overdose problem in the state. One would be the mandatory participation of all physicians who prescribe painkillers to make use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Database. As of yet, the vast majority of states have this monitoring system, but in a voluntary manner. This means that doctors are not mandated to use it, but actually can if they want to. By making the database mandatory, the state would be able to monitor the prescriptions being made and most likely cut down on high levels of over prescribing.

There has also been a call for more funding from the state for addiction rehabilitation. It is well known that healthcare is out of reach for many who simply do not make enough money to cover the expenses. Many insurance providers do not even consider addiction as an actual disease and thus do not cover costs for rehab. It is expected that with more opportunities to attend rehab, more people will be able to kick the habit before it threatens their life. The decision as to whether the bill pardoning drug users who alert emergency response to an overdose is still pending, as is the results for more funding for rehabilitation programs and the mandating of use for the monitoring database. However, should all three be implemented hundreds of lives could be saved annually. Which do you think is more important?