Why Do New Jersey's Opiate Laws Exist?

Throughout the national opioid crisis, New Jersey has been one of the most aggressive states in passing measures to combat the problem.

12/27/20222 min read

Throughout the national opioid crisis, New Jersey has been one of the most aggressive states in passing measures to combat the problem.When it comes to the state's response to excessive prescription drug usage, opiates like heroin and pain prescriptions have been among the hardest hit. The following are the current laws in effect in the Garden State.

New Jersey's Drug Laws

New Jersey passed a law in 2017 that limited initial opioid prescriptions to a five-day supply. The theory is that by making it more difficult for patients to stockpile and consume large amounts of opiates, the risk of addiction will be reduced. Before administering the dose, the practitioner must document the patient's whole medical history and prepare a treatment plan. So, how did this policy turn out? According to Penn Medicine, the overall amount of opioids distributed each new prescription has reduced by roughly a fourth (their study was conducted in late 2019).

Individuals' chances of developing an addiction were dramatically reduced when prescriptions were only given to people who truly required them, rather than those with acute pain.

Drug Abuse in New Jersey

When it comes to drug-related charges, New Jersey has a long history of being tough. Those caught with less than 50 grams face up to 6 months in prison, as well as a large fine and a suspended driver's license. If they are caught with more than 50 grams, they might be sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $25,000 if caught.

In New Jersey, what is the prescription rate per 100 residents?

Diagnoses of the opioid class of prescription medicines have dropped from 59.8% to 34.4 percent in the last five years. Physicians are becoming more aware of the risks of making too many diagnoses, and new legislation make it more difficult to overdiagnose. The total number of opioid prescriptions dispensed has decreased from a high of 5 million in 2015 to 3 million in 2020. It's a big step forward in the fight against the opioid epidemic in New Jersey and around the country.

New Jersey's Addiction Treatment Laws

New Jersey's number of drug convictions is lower than the national average, thanks in part to laws and changes in prescribing habits, but the state continues to deal with drug misuse, particularly heroin and opiates. New Jersey passed the Overdose Prevention Act in 2013, which aims to reduce the number of people who die from drug overdoses in the state. This statute offers legal protection to someone who has observed an opiate overdose firsthand. It also allows doctors to administer naloxone, a strong antidote to opioid addiction.