The heroin scourge sweeping across the United States, in the wake of a decade long prescription opioid epidemic, has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths – needlessly tearing families apart. Addiction of any kind is insidious, especially opioid addiction; this is due to the fact that taking just a little too much can result in an overdose. Fortunately, states and municipalities across the country have taken steps to equip first responders with naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an overdose and save lives. Naloxone is an emergency treatment for opioid overdose.
Florida Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) carry naloxone, but it is not always possible for them to arrive to an overdose in time to save a life. Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan®, is now available in a nasal spray form, which people can easily learn to use. In some states, naloxone can be acquired by loved ones and caretakers who are often present at the time of an overdose.
This week the State of Florida was considering legislation which would expand access to naloxone, NBC’s WPTV reported. It was in April 2015, Governor Rick Scott was presented for his review and consideration the Florida Emergency Treatment and Recovery Act.
If the bill passed, it would authorize certain healthcare practitioners, parents, friends or other family members to obtain and administer naloxone. The Florida Emergency Treatment and Recovery Act would also give police officers the option to carry naloxone as well, according to the article.
“I think it would be an organizational decision for every police department to decide,” said Delray Beach Police Chief Jeff Goldman. “But if we could save someone’s life and we have the ability to do it, I think we should.”
There has been a rise of heroin overdoses occurring in Delray Beach. If the bill were to pass and be signed into law, Chief Goldman said he would consider equipping the officers under his command with Narcan.
On June 10, 2015, news came that Governor Scott had signed Florida’s HB 751 Simply stated: HB 751 Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose -This bill grants certain healthcare practitioners the authority to prescribe and dispense an emergency opioid antagonist to a patient or caregiver under certain conditions.
If you are struggling with prescription opioids or heroin, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.