New Jersey Senate Panel Holds Discussion on Statewide Painkiller Addiction

Last month, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse released a report on the heroin and opioid problem consuming New Jersey. This report was one of the many topics discussed among a special New Jersey Senate panel that had gathered to discuss the painkiller epidemic consuming the state. The meeting was a subject of a recent article on The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Services Committee discussed the issue at length and heard testimony from the Governor’s Council executive director, Celina Gray. Other issues discussed were the tightening of prescription dispensation controls and the Christie administration’s financial commitment to task force recommendations.

While there was general consensus that drastic had to be taken in an effort counteract the community and public health effects of these drugs, the panel was admittedly baffled regarding how to proceed. Many participants raised concern the lack of access to affordable treatment. Others asked whether limiting the number of pills that physicians could prescribe would have any affect. Some of the panelists were even critical of the task force’s prevention programs, asserting that they may need to redirect their efforts.  Although there is a commitment to contain this problem from all sides, the multilateral nature of the problem may render such an undertaking difficult. 

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