Bills aim to help combat prescription drug abuse

TRENTON – A legislator has introduced two bills to deal wlith the problem of prescription drug abuse.

Assemblywoman Marlene Caride, (D-36), Ridgefield, introduced bills in response to a report earlier this year that showed how widespread the abuse of prescription drugs and heroin had become.

The first bill, A4390, would make it unlawful for any wireless telephone service provider to sell such prepaid service to an individual without first recording key information such as a photocopy of a driver’s license, the telephone number and serial number involved, and the date of the sale.

The second bill, A4393, would require the Attorney General to establish a statewide Opioid Law Enforcement Coordinating Task Force within the Department of Law and Public Safety.

“They may seem inconspicuous, but prepaid cell phones are powerful tools in a drug dealer’s arsenal,” Caride said in a release.

“No ID is required when buying these phones, they are usually bought with cash and are discarded once the minutes are used up, leaving no trail behind.”

A report from the State Commission of Investigation gave details on how addicts make the transition from prescription painkillers to cheaper but deadlier heroin.

“This report detailed a carefully orchestrated operation involving doctors, street gangs and organized crime which has helped propel the use of prescription pills and heroin through every corner of the state,” Caride said.

Under the first bill, a phone service provider must retain all recorded information for a period of two years after the date of purchase, then arrange for its destruction.

A violation would fall under the consumer fraud act, and lead to a penalty of not more than $10,000 for the first offence, and not more than $20,000 for the second and each subsequent offense.

Bills aim to help combat prescription drug abuse