Singer Bill Combatting Crisis of Drug Overdose Deaths Earns Senate Approval

Senator Robert Singer’s legislation that would help prevent the increasing epidemic of overdose deaths earned Senate approval today.

Drug overdoses in New Jersey claim more than 3,000 lives each year. Singer’s bill to reverse the troubling trend, A-798/S-52, would authorize counties in the state to establish local drug overdose fatality review teams.

The teams would work to develop strategies to prevent drug overdoses and promote cooperation among state and local government agencies.

“The fatality review teams would present a proactive approach to saving lives,” said Singer (R-30). “From every tragic overdose, we can learn valuable lessons that can help avert similar deaths in future. Rigorous research, analysis and evaluation can help put an end to the rampant plague of overdose that threatens our loved ones, friends and neighborhoods.”

Singer’s bill requires the Commissioner of Health to develop a uniform, standardized reporting process for drug overdose deaths, and to forward specific details and information about each loss to the appropriate local drug overdose fatality review teams.

Local drug overdose fatality review teams will also be provided with access to certain health treatment records and government records concerning the overdose victim.

“Teams like these have been deployed effectively in other states,” Singer said. “We can do the same in New Jersey, and lives will be saved. We cannot sit back and simply hope things will get better. We must act now.”

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