New in New Jersey: Read and Heed that Label


The red color should grab your attention. This post should help too. It’s all about a new initiative in New Jersey, signed by the governor and meant to underscore a particular danger to human health. It focuses on the sticker pharmacists attach to medication containers. And the target? Prescription opioids.

An article in The Asbury Press discussed this action to affix such a label. In it, Governor Murphy explained why he supported the bill to make this a reality. He said: “This legislation continues our work to combat the opioid crisis by ensuring that there are warning labels outlining the risk of opioid medications, expanding access to the treatment that so many need, and raising awareness of just how easy it is to become addicted to opioids.”

The opioid crisis is taking place on many fronts. However, the governor noted, it has had “a devastating impact on our communities.” The New Jersey Department of Health put that effect in numbers, very recent ones. In the first half of 2019, the toll from drug overdoses in the state came to 1,387 lives lost.

NJTV, New Jersey’s public broadcasting service, added to this. In framing the drug addiction crisis, it reported that “drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in New Jersey.” And it offered some statistics to back up this claim. For example, over the last 15 years, 14,000 deaths occurred from drug overdoses. And the rate of heroin overdoses in the state is three times the national average.

More about the Label

The new label is not envisioned as a panacea. It is but one way to highlight the risk of addiction associated with using opioids. Assemblyman John Armato, member of the Atlantic County Opioid Task Force, spoke to this point. “We have warning labels on just about all medications these days,” he said. “We need to utilize every tool in our arsenal to increase awareness and education about the effects of opioid abuse. Adding a warning sticker to all opioid medications is an easy, cost-effective concept that can save lives.”

What will the label say? That task falls to the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy. This group will delineate the language. At minimum, the words must indicate there is a risk of addiction and overdose connected with taking this medication.

New Jersey is not alone in using this strategy. Other states have gone this route in recent years.

Minnesota and Utah set the stage. They enacted amendments earlier that require warning labels on opioid prescriptions.

Expect to see this change here in February, when this law takes effect. By that date, a red label must appear on pill bottles and other containers. Medications include: codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, and oxycodone. These substances go by the brand names of: Vicodin, Dilaudid, Demerol, and OxyContin.

Strategy of the Recovery Kind

Sunrise House Treatment Center

For those in the throes of opioid addiction, treatment at a recovery center saves lives. In Lafayette, New Jersey, Sunrise House offers a continuum of care. No matter what clients need, the center provides it. That includes medical detox and residential treatment. But that’s not all. There’s also a partial hospitalization program (PHP) as well as intensive outpatient (IOP) and standard outpatient (OP) programs. Using a customized, client-centered approach, the highly skilled team keys their work to those they serve. Part of the trusted American Addiction Centers nationwide network, Sunrise House is where your recovery begins.

The center is so sure clients will achieve their goals after successfully completing the treatment program, we offer a guarantee. It’s a promise to achieve and maintain sobriety for 90 days. If not, return for another 30 days of treatment. The cost is on us. Visit our admissions page to get started.



About The Contributor

Sherry M. Adler covers a wide range of industries and topics as a freelance writer. She has a passion for her craft and the world at large. Dedicated to using the power of words to inform and energize stakeholders, she named her business WriteResults... Read More


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