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Governor Christie Signs Executive Order Declaring Opioid Addiction a Public Health Crisis

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On January 17, 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed Executive Order No. 219, declaring the abuse of and addiction to opioid drugs a New Jersey public health crisis. Governor Christie created the “Governor’s Task Force on Drug Abuse and Control” (Task Force), to consist of eight members including the Attorney General, the Commissioners of the Departments of Health, Human Services, Correction, Education, Children and Families, and Banking and Insurance, and a Chairperson to be appointed by the Governor.

The Task Force is charged with developing a comprehensive strategy to combat the epidemic. The Attorney General is further authorized to take all necessary steps to limit initial prescriptions of opioids to patients, and must establish standards to ensure that additional quantities are only prescribed under limited conditions. The Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families must take action to ensure that residential substance use disorder treatment facilities are able to use their spaces effectively. The Commissioner of the Department of Education is tasked with developing a comprehensive curriculum to educate children about the dangers of substance abuse.

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