Legislation Would Require Higher Education Institutions to Have Supply of Opioid Antidotes
(TRENTON) – In response to the nationwide opioid crisis and its potentially deadly impact on young people, legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Mila Jasey to require institutions of higher education to maintain a supply of opioid antidotes was approved by the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Thursday.
“Opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed in recent years. For traditional college-aged Americans age 24 and under, the number of opioid-related deaths doubled between 2005 and 2015,” said Jasey (D-Essex, Morris), chair of the Higher Education Committee. “We have to do more to address this crisis, starting with equipping our colleges and universities to be prepared if an overdose emergency happens on campus.”
The bill (A-4866) would require public and independent higher education institutions in New Jersey to keep opioid antidotes at one or more secure and easily accessible locations, as well as develop a policy for emergency administration of an antidote to a student, staff member, or other person who experiences an opioid overdose.
“If a person experiencing an opioid overdose is treated with an antidote quickly enough, it could be life-saving,” said Jasey. “By storing proper medication on campuses, campus police or security officers may be able to reach patients faster and administer the antidote.”
The measure would direct the Secretary of Higher Education, in consultation with the Department of Human Services and medical experts, to establish guidelines for higher education institutions to develop policies for administering opioid antidotes. The policies must designate a licensed campus medical professional to oversee the institution’s program for the maintenance and emergency administration of opioid antidotes.
Additionally, the bill would amend the “Overdose Prevention Act” to include institutions of higher education, and provide immunity from liability for opioid antidote administration.
The bill would take effect four months following enactment.
The measure now goes to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.