Governor Dannel Malloy signed into a law on Friday what he called "the most comprehensive strategy" in the nation for combating opioid addiction and overdose.
Among the many provisions in Public Act 16-43 is a seven-day cap on initial opioid prescriptions, requires municipalities to ensure that first responders are equipped with and and know how to administer the overdose reversal drug naloxone, and clarifies liability issues for licensed health care providers who administer the drug.
The bill also requires health care providers to discuss the risks of addiction with minors and their parents when prescribing them an opioid painkiller.
The bill passed unanimously in both chambers of the General Assembly. At the bill signing ceremony, Malloy thanked the legislature for their support, but admitted that more work needs to be done to stop unnecessary overdoses in the state.
"This is not the heroin that I grew up with," said Malloy. "It is far purer, and when it's not purer, it is mixed with something that is equally or more dangerous than the substance itself. We have people that are dying very quickly. We've had people die as a result of first-time use. We have a lot of work to do."
Malloy also announced a partnership with his office, the Yale School of Medicine, and Connecticut's insurance carriers with the aim of developing a statewide response to the epidemic.