Booker, Menendez unveil new bill to fight opioid crisis

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PATERSON -

Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Bob Menendez unveiled a new bill in the ongoing fight to combat opioid abuse.

The Alternative to Opioids in the Emergency Department Act tests other pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids at hospitals nationwide.

The senators unveiled the legislation at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson. The bill is based on a program started at the hospital in 2016.

“The work you are doing here is innovative. It is inspiring,” Sen. Booker told the crowd at the unveiling event. “It is shining that light against the darkness. It is exactly the substance of things that have been hoped for. It is truly one of those moments where we are making a difference that will affect thousands and thousands of lives.”

St. Joseph's Medical Center saw an 82 percent reduction in opioid use in the past two years.

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