Akshar Joins Senate In Passing Bills To Fight Addiction
Published: June 13th, 2016
By: Shawn Magrath

ALBANY – New York State Senator Fred Akshar (R-52nd District) is pedalling two works of legislation fixed on stomping out addiction of opioids and e-cigarette products.

On Friday, the NY State Senate passed both bills which supporters say will help curb addiction, particularly among young people.

One of the bills requires health practitioners treating minors to educate about the dangers of addiction and to receive written parental or guardian consent before prescribing opioids.

According to Akshar, who sponsored the bill, this would help thwart the sharing of painkillers and extra prescriptions which can be a gateway to heroin use.

“We need to attack the heroin and opioid epidemic from every angle, and successfully preventing addiction before it starts is always the best scenario,” Akshar said, adding his goal of getting parents more involved. “I’ve heard from stakeholders at roundtable meetings around our district and time after time, I’ve heard parents recount how their children’s addictions arose from being prescribed opioids after injuries or surgeries.”

The bill also limits the amount of opioid-based prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply unless there’s a medical emergency.

The other bill, also sponsored by Akshar, intends to stop the free distribution of electronic cigarettes. Currently, the state’s public health law does not include e-cigarettes in the distribution of tobacco products without charge to minors despite it being illegal to sell e-cigarettes to youth under the age of 18. This means e-cigarette manufacturers can still give away their product as a “free sample” at events.

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