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Ohio Lawmakers Want to Expand Access to Anti-Heroin Drug Naloxone

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:50 PM

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Legislators are working to expand access to a drug that can help save a person’s life in the event of a heroin overdose. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow talked to one lawmaker who says this is just one step in stopping drug abuse.

The drug Naloxone can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, similar to the life-saving effects a defibrillator might have on someone suffering from cardiac arrest. Lawmakers are looking over a bill to allow a doctor to give Naloxone to a patient known to have a history of heroin abuse. The drug could also be made available to that person’s family and friends.

Democratic State Rep. Michael Stinziano of Columbus is co-sponsoring the bill with Republican State Rep. Terry Johnson from Scioto County. Stinziano said expanding access is a vital component to the state’s overall battle against drug abuse.

“My lead co-sponsor, Dr. Terry Johnson, says, you know, we aren’t able to get someone help if they’ve died,” Stinziano said. “And so this legislation is going to be about saving lives. And you don’t know what heroin dose is going to be the one that may send you into an overdose state.”

The bill is now in the Senate, where Stinziano says members are discussing other possible provisions, such as adding some type of rehab component.

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