Arizona Lawmaker Pushes For More Access To Overdose-Reversal Drug Naloxone
One Arizona lawmaker is trying to expand access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose. The Arizona Department of Health Services reported in 2014, 33 percent of drug overdose deaths in Arizona were linked to opioid pain relievers.
State Representative Heather Carter, of north Phoenix and Cave Creek, brought a bill last year to allow police officers to carry the medicine. That is now law, and officers are expected to get trained on how to use naloxone in 2016. Carter plans to introduce another bill this coming legislative session to expand access.
“The next step is really looking at giving other community members and family members access to this medication," she said. "Because many times they are the people who are at the scene at the time where this tragedy is happening.”
She’s working with stakeholders on the specifics of who could have the drug without a prescription. According to Food and Drug Administration, 38 states allow the prescription of naloxone to someone other than the person at the risk of overdose, such as family or friends.