Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz ensuring access to the most effective treatment options for people fighting drug addiction cleared the Assembly today. The bill (S2964/A4707) prohibits recovery facilities from denying services to patients receiving medication-assisted treatment.
“In the last 25 years, the science of addiction medicine has evolved,” said Munoz (R-Union). “Today, we know the most effective way to treat substance abuse disorder is a combination of counseling, peer support and medication. It is well-documented that addicts who are prescribed medication experience reduced cravings and have better outcomes.”
Munoz noted pharmaceuticals can help people with substance-use disorders avoid relapse, but some patients who are prescribed medication are turned away from care facilities.
“Outdated and disproven beliefs that full sobriety is required for recovery is preventing addicts from receiving the help they desperately need,” said Munoz. “Meticulously administered medication can be a valuable tool for breaking the addiction cycle.”
More than 2,000 people died from drug overdose in New Jersey last year, and the state’s rate of heroin overdose is triple the national average. Overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the state, and there has been a 700 percent increase in admissions to drug treatment programs in the last decade.