Cory Booker Intros Emergency Room Opioid Bill

Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) introduced legislation this week to help boost hospital resources in the fight against opioid addiction. Over 100 people die each day from opioid overdose, and 40% of these deaths involved a prescription opioid -- more than 200 million opioid prescriptions are written in the U.S. each year. As the first line of defense against the opioid epidemic, Booker says emergency rooms are well positioned to be laboratories of new innovations and procedures to combat the crisis. However, because of the short-term nature of the care they provide, ERs are often highly susceptible to doctor-shopping. The Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Department Act would establish a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids in hospital emergency departments. The legislation would provide grant funding to build these programs. “To combat this public health crisis we need to invest in promising, innovative models. Our bipartisan bill, built on the success of a program in New Jersey, would not only help prevent addiction by reducing the number of opioid prescriptions written in emergency rooms, but it would also help us better understand safe and effective alternatives to prescribing opioids,” said Booker. He’s joined in the bicameral legislation by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Cory Gardner (R-CO), as well as Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), David McKinley (R-WV), and Scott Tipton (R-CO), and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO). More here.

Tiffany D. Cross