HARTFORD — State representatives Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) and David Labriola (R-131) applauded the House’s unanimous passage of a bill that will increase the use of a life saving drug for those suffering from an opiate overdose.
The lawmakers co-sponsored and voted in favor of House Bill 5063, “AAC Treatment for a Drug Overdose.” The bill, which passed the House last week, aims to allow a broader group of people, including friends, family members, partners and others, to obtain a prescription for Narcan.
According to a release issued by the representatives, Narcan is an opiate antagonist that is used to counteract drug overdoses. Current state 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.
“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. 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,” Labriola said in the release.
Since 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, the release stated.
“Drug use is a statewide, growing problem that does not discriminate by age, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. In recent years more Connecticut residents between the ages of 18 to 25 have died due to accidental drug overdoses than any other cause. 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,” Rebimbas said in the release.