Connecticut has enacted changes to its opioid laws that include requiring institutions of higher education to implement a policy on the availability and use of opioid antagonists for students and staff.
Public Act No. 19-191, “An Act Addressing Opioid Use,” makes various other revisions to the state’s opioid use prevention and treatment statutes, as well as creates new legislation.
By January 1, 2020, presidents of institutions of higher education in Connecticut must develop, implement, obtain approval from the state Department of Consumer Protection, and post on the institution’s website a policy on the availability and use of “opioid antagonists” by students and employees. Opioid antagonists are defined as “naloxone hydrochloride or any other similarly acting and equally safe drug approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for treatment of a drug overdose.” Naloxone hydrochloride is commonly known by the brand name “Narcan.”
The required policy must:
- Designate a medical professional or public safety professional to oversee the purchase, storage, and distribution of opioid antagonists on each of its campuses;
- Identify the location(s) on each of its campuses where the opioid antagonists are stored, which location(s) will be made known and accessible to students and employees;
- Require maintenance of the supply of opioid antagonists in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines; and
- Require a representative of the institution to call 911 or notify a local emergency medical services provider prior to, during, or as soon as practicable after each use of an opioid antagonist on the institution’s campus that is reported to the institution or observed by a medical professional or public safety professional, unless the person to whom the opioid antagonist was administered has already received medical treatment for the opioid-related drug overdose.
The law also creates new requirements for practitioners, pharmacists, paramedics, and registered drug manufacturers and wholesalers.