In July 2017, Gov. Chris Christie signed a law which requires the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to develop a fact sheet containing information on the use and misuse of opioid drugs in the event that a health care provider prescribes a student-athlete or cheerleader an opioid for a sports-related injury. The law also requires student-athletes (and their parents, if the student is under age 18) to annually sign an acknowledgement of receipt of the fact sheet.

The NJDOE has developed that document, Opioid Use and Misuse Educational Fact Sheet for distribution. The department has also designed a template sign-off form. This sign-off form cannot be combined with any other sign-off sheets that students or parents are required to complete.

The law requires that schools distribute the fact sheet and collect a completed sign-off sheet for each student-athlete or cheerleader prior to the first official practice session of the spring 2018 athletic season (March 2, as designated by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association), and annually thereafter prior to the student’s first official practice of the school year.

The NJDOE advised superintendents, charter school and Renaissance School Project leads, administrators of private schools for students with disabilities and nonpublic school administrators of the fact sheet and template sign-off form in a broadcast email on Jan. 9.