State Rep. David K. Labriola, R-Oxford, co-sponsored a bill that would increase the use of a life-saving drug given to those experiencing an opiate overdose.
The House has unanimously approved House Bill 5063 – AAC Treatment for a Drug Overdose. The bill would allow a broader group of people, including friends, family members, partners and others, to obtain a prescription for Narcan, according to a news release from the House Republican Office.
Narcan is an opiate antagonist that is used to counteract drug overdoses. Current statute only allows physicians to prescribe the medication to the drug user, inevitably thrusting the responsibility on the user to have the foresight, ability and will to ingest it in the event of an overdose, the release states.
However, because individuals who are experiencing a drug overdose may not be in control of their bodies or thinking clearly, allowing loved ones to carry and dispense the medication increases the likelihood that it will be successfully utilized in the event of an emergency, according to the release.
Labriola, whose district covers Oxford, Naugatuck and Southbury, said opiate drug overdoses are a serious and tragic problem within our community and state.
"We all know someone who has experienced the heartbreak of losing a loved one to this addiction," he said. "I am proud to support this bill, which will allow a broader possession of Narcan to be available in the event of an emergency. I am hopeful that this meaningful policy change will give options to loved ones, and will ultimately save lives."
State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, also co-sponsored the bill. She said that in recent years, more Connecticut residents between the ages of 18 and 25 have died due to accidental drug overdoses than any other cause.
"Drug use is a statewide, growing problem that does not discriminate by age, ethnicity or socioeconomic status," she said. "This is a very serious matter and I am glad that this bill will give loved ones a tool to help save the lives of the folks who are no longer in control. I want to thank my House colleagues for voting this bill forward and I would urge the Senate do the same.”