TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie’s anti-opioid agenda is moving ahead.

Christie signed legislation Monday requiring medical professionals to discuss the possibility of addiction when prescribing opioid drugs to those under 18.

Christie said in a statement the new law will help curb drug addiction caused by the misuse of prescription drugs.

“I am proud that my administration, with bipartisan cooperation from the legislature, is creating a holistic model for America to curb this epidemic impacting all residents, families, communities and businesses,” Christie said in a statement.

The state Senate also approved legislation the Republican governor sought that requires insurers regulated by the state to cover inpatient and outpatient treatment for drug addiction. The legislation passed without any opposition and is scheduled to get a vote in the Assembly later this week. Both chambers are controlled by Democrats.

The measure also would limit initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain care to a five-day supply. That wouldn’t apply to cancer and chronic pain patients and for end-of-life care. The legislation also calls for continuing education for professionals who prescribe drugs.

Christie, who is term-limited, is dedicating his final year to addressing addiction. His term ends in January 2018. Legislators have broadly signaled support for the governor’s agenda.

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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