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Is There a Way to Stop Younger NJ Residents From Using Heroin? [AUDIO]

As overdose deaths from heroin and prescription drugs continue to rise, a New Jersey lawmaker has introduced legislation to toughen the state’s existing prescription drug monitoring program.

Flickr User Magic Madzik

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini says this is important because “it allows doctors to log in to find out if the patient sitting before them has already gone to four or five other doctors looking for the same type of drug.”

She says part of the reason why heroin use is up is because “Oxycodone is actually more expensive than heroin is in our area, so kids will get hooked on opioids and then the next logical step is heroin, so we’re looking at ways to make it easier for physicians to give good data and to be able to access the data.”

Angelini points out some patients will go to multiple emergency rooms, or they’ll go to multiple doctors trying to get a prescription, claiming that they have a backache, or something that’s not really easy to define, so there needs to be a way to track this.

She is also sponsoring legislation to improve communication between states – to track patient prescriptions- and another measure would make it mandatory “that pharmacies give information as to how you can get rid of your unused or unwanted prescription meds.”

Angelini stresses that in addition to passing new laws, kids need to be taught that there are consequences for negative actions.

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