A bill designed to stem what some have called the “opioid epidemic” in Connecticut will soon be signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday. Last week the same bill passed unanimously through the House of Representatives.
“This is a big step — and it’s an important action for families statewide,” Malloy said Tuesday after the bill passed the Senate. “This is a devastating trend that is hurting families in so many communities across our country and here at home.”
The bill places a 7-day cap on opioid prescriptions in an effort to reign in what many called the “over-prescribing” of painkillers. There is an exception clause included in the bill for those receiving long-term prescriptions from their doctors allowing them to exceed the 7-day cap.
The legislation also requires first responders to be trained in the use of Narcan and to carry and dispense it. The drug is injected into patients to counter the effects of opioid and heroin overdoses.
The legislation was a combination of more than 50 bills introduced to combat some part of the opioid epidemic.
Backers say that the legislation would give Connecticut, along with Massachusetts, the toughest opioid legislation in the country.
Many legislators have held community forums on heroin and opioid addiction in their districts over the last several weeks — and many commented on how the forums have been attended by hundreds of concerned parents, school officials, police, and firefighters.