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CT House Passes Bill That Could Help Prevent Overdoses

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Mass Distraction


A study in 2009 found that drug overdose was the leading cause of death for 18 to 25 year-olds in Connecticut. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, a bill is working its way through the General Assembly that supporters say could help prevent drug overdoses.

If someone overdoses on heroin or vicodin, there's a medication that can counteract the effects of the overdose. It's called Narcan and under state law--doctors can only prescribe it to drug users.

This could change under a bill recently passed by the state House.

Republican lawmakers have sponsored legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe Narcan to family members and others close to a drug user. State Representative Rosa Rebimbas explains the reason behind the bill.

"Having physicians being able to provide this to family members, hopefully those stories of someone walking in on a sibling or child who's experiencing a drug overdose, if they have this access to it, readily available right away, it could save a life."

A similar law has passed in several states including Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois.

While discussion on the drug continues in Connecticut, the U.S Food and Drug Administration is looking into whether the drug should be available over the counter. For this to happen, a drug manufacturer would need to apply to the FDA and request a change in the drug status.

The process isn't cheap. According to Time.com, it could cost up to $20 million which exceeds the current market for the drug.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut bill moves onto the Senate and needs Governor Dannel Malloy's signature before it becomes law.

Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.

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