Governor Kasich Signs Anti-Drug Overdose Bill

Columbus Fire medics administer Narcan about 5 times a day. It can reverse a heroin or prescription opioid overdose in minutes.(Photo: Mandie Trimble, WOSU News Reporter)
Columbus Fire medics administer Narcan about 5 times a day. It can reverse a heroin or prescription opioid overdose in minutes.(Photo: Mandie Trimble, WOSU News Reporter)

Governor John signed into law a bill that expands access to a drug that can reverse a heroin overdose. WOSU reports a local substance abuse clinic supports the expansion.

Family members or friends who have a loved one addicted to heroin or opiate pain pills will now be able get naloxone. It’s a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose.

Paul Coleman directs Maryhaven which helps rehabilitate people who struggle with substance abuse and behavioral problems. Coleman said he hopes expansion of the drug will help encourage addicts to seek treatment.

“It will allow organizations such as Maryhaven, which provide recovery services to help addicts get better, to have patients because if the patient overdoses and dies obviously there’s no opportunity to provide treatment.”

Friends and family who get the drug will only be able to administer it nasally.

The move comes as a heroin epidemic rages across Ohio. Columbus Fire medics administered naloxone more than 212 times between January and February.

Coleman said he’s pleased to see there is a growing awareness of the challenge of opiate abuse in Ohio.

“And we’ve made remarkably good and remarkably early strides in fighting back against opiate use in our state,” he said. “This is simply the latest step in the journey, and of course there are more steps to come.”

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