March 21, 2014
COLUMBUS—State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) has announced that House Bill 170, a bill that expands access to the drug Naloxone, has been signed into law today. Naloxone, which is otherwise known by its commercial name Narcan, reverses the effects of a drug overdose, thereby saving a life. Sub. H.B. 170, sponsored by Representative Johnson, expands access by allowing family and friends of those addicted to opiates to acquire it from a prescriber.
The family member or friend would administer the Naloxone through the person’s nose. The bill also authorizes law enforcement agencies to acquire Naloxone and give it to their officers so they too can administer it intranasally and reverse the effects of opioid-related overdoses on people they come across in the course of their duties.
“Over the years, a staggering number of people became addicted due to the pill mills,” said Johnson. “When we shut them down, they didn’t magically become un-addicted. Instead, drug cartels moved in, peddling heroin in massive quantities. This bill empowers families, friends, and law enforcement to save lives and give the addict a chance at recovery, and it is another useful tool in our collective effort to defeat this horrible scourge on our community. Sub. H.B. 170 will save thousands of lives across Ohio.”
Naloxone has been used in emergency rooms and by paramedics for years. It is inert, cannot be abused, and is not addictive in any way. It works effectively by blocking the receptors in the brain that the drug occupies when a person has taken a prescription opioid or heroin. If a person who has not taken such a substance were to take Naloxone, it would have no effect.
With the Governor’s signing, the legislation takes effect immediately.