HARTFORD – The House of Representatives last week passed a bill providing civil and criminal immunity to anyone administering opiate antagonist prescription drugs like Narcan, a life-saving measure against heroin overdoses, that state Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) says will reduce the number of untimely deaths in Connecticut.
The bill, H.B. 5487, was overwhelmingly approved by a unanimous 140 to 0 vote, allowing family, friends, partners and others to administer Narcan or similar drugs during a loved one’s opioid overdose. Previously, only doctors were allowed to administer the life-saving drug.
“We continue to hear of the tragic loss of life as a result of heroin overdose,” said Rep. Betts. “It is my hope that this legislation will give people the ability to intervene and possibly save lives of those in danger of overdosing.”
In 2012, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law allowing friends and family to obtain a Narcan prescription if they suspect heroin use in a loved one.
The new bill, which awaits a vote in the Senate, legally protects anyone administering opioid antagonist drugs, acting in “good faith” and reasonable care. These opioid antagonists include Narcan and any safe drug, as determined by the Food and Drug Administration, for treating a drug overdose.
The bill is awaiting action by the Senate.