HOWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A new bill in New Jersey could help fight the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse.
The proposed law would limit the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to kids and teens, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.
Opioid addiction has become an epidemic and people are forming addictions younger and younger.
“He had us fooled… he was the perfect son at home, but with his peers he was somebody else. Starting a conversation with your child at all times is so important,” mother Lynn Regan said.
Regan’s son Daniel grew up on their family farm in Howell, New Jersey. She said he was a star athlete and did great in school until he got addicted.
“My daughter’s best friend said she saw him snorting Oxycontin, a crushed up pill, off the dashboard of her car,” Regan said.
A friend was prescribed Percocet for an injury and passed the pills onto Daniel in high school. From there, he spiraled down.
“He began doc shopping and what that means is he would go to multiple doctors to get larger amounts of prescriptions prescribed to him,” Regan said.
Daniel was unable to talk to CBS2 because he was having his wisdom teeth pulled, with no pain medication to avoid relapsing.
Assemblyman Greg McGuckin introduced a bill requiring doctors to limit the amount of opioid medications to minors.
“Require physicians in most instances to not write prescriptions for longer than a 7-day supply,” he said.
If prescribed for longer, the doctor must document why.
Barnabas Health in Toms River is already there.
“We’ve been limiting for a long time in emergency rooms and in general, especially to limit types of medication and doses and frequency,” Dr. Vikram Varma said.
Another doctor said the problem originates from a lack of understanding of the drugs’ effects on people.
“Physicians need to be educated in general about the perils of using this medication,” Dr. Ramon Solhkah of Meridian Behavioral Health Services said.
Ocean County is feeling the pain since January alone with over 30 overdose deaths, an official said.
“Any type of limitation on opioids is of utmost importance,” Regan said.
After months of rehab, Daniel Regan is now sober and his family started the Loud N Clear Foundation to help transition recovering addicts back to health.
The bill would also require prescribers to discuss the risks of the drugs with the minor’s parents or guardians.