NY Lawmakers Push for Bill to Expand Access to Heroin Antidote

05.09.14 | FL News Team

 State legislators are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill into law that would expand access to a powerful antidote to heroin and opiate overdose.
The bill aims to increase access to Naloxone kits, also known as Narcan, the antidote to heroin and opiate overdose, to addicts, their families and other people likely to assist a person at risk of overdose. The measure passed the Legislature in recent months.

Deaths from heroin and other opiates have been on the rise in New York. Overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death, and more people are transitioning from prescription opiates to heroin, the state officials said.

The state in 2005 authorized non-medical persons to administer Naloxone to prevent overdose, but parents and family members are being turned away from Naloxone training programs and are not receiving Naloxone kits due to the shortage of prescribers at the programs, advocates said.

The new legislation would allow prescribers to write non-patient specific Naloxone prescriptions for the programs to distribute and expand access to Naloxone kits at pharmacies.

Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, co-sponsored the bill in the state Senate and was recently appointed to the state Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opoid Addiction. The Senate has held hearings around the state about the issue.