Connecticut Colleges and Universities Should Develop Opioid Antagonist Policies Now So They Can Be Approved and in Place By January 2020 Deadline
Colleges and universities in Connecticut must comply with a new law that requires them to implement a policy regarding the availability and use of opioid antagonists by their students and employees not later than January 1, 2020. Opioid antagonists are drugs, such as Narcan, that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid drug overdose.
Once a policy is drafted, it must be submitted to Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (“DCP”) for approval, so schools should develop policies now to allow time for this process.
The Connecticut General Assembly has enacted a number of laws over the past several years in response to the opioid drug crisis. During the most recent legislative session, Governor Lamont signed into law PA 19-191, which enacts new provisions and amends some current provisions directed at the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder. Section 7 requires institutions of higher education to develop and implement an opioid antagonist policy.
The opioid antagonist policy must:
- Designate a medical professional or public safety professional to oversee the purchase, storage and distribution of opioid antagonists on each campus;
- Identify the location(s) on each campus where the opioid antagonists are stored. The location(s) must be made known and accessible to the institution’s 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 of use an opioid antagonist on the campus, if the use is reported to the institution or observed by a medical or public safety professional, unless the person to whom the opioid antagonist was administered has already received medical treatment for his or her opioid-related drug overdose.
Policies should be sent to the DCP at firstname.lastname@example.org for approval. Once a policy has been approved by the DCP, it must be implemented and the policy must be posted on the institution’s website before the first of the year.