HEALTH

Attorney General Grewal takes regulatory actions against opioid crisis

BY Julie Daurio, Associate Producer |

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is taking regulatory action to advance the state’s battle against the opioid epidemic.

The first is a proposed rule change that would make medication-assisted treatment — which is considered the gold standard in opioid addiction treatment — more widely accessible through the use of telemedicine. The proposal aims to remove barriers for individuals who are suffering from addiction and to allow doctors to treat more patients by using two-way, real-time video communication.

Grewal also announced a change to the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program, effective immediately. It adds new situations in which physicians are required to look up a patient’s record on the statewide database before prescribing opioids for pain treatment, adding procedures such as wisdom teeth removal and prescriptions written in emergency rooms.

Physicians must also now check the database before prescribing sedatives like Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin that, when taken in combination with opioids, increase the risk of a fatal overdose.