Naloxone is Now Legal For Opiate Overdose Prevention in California
Drug addiction prevention is the key to saving lives, but when you can’t stop addicts from using, overdose prevention is the next best thing. And California lawmakers agree.
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 635 into law in California allowing Naloxone, also known as Narcan, to be used to save the life of a person after an opiate overdose.
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in America, mostly from hydrocodone, oxycodone, heroin and other opioids, and the CDC has estimated that Naloxone has already saved over 10,000 lives since being introduced.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which blocks opioid receptors in the brain. It has been effective at restoring breathing after an accidental overdose and used in trial areas around California since 2008.
Beginning January 1, 2014, doctors will be able to prescribe it to friends and family members of drug users in California to be administered at home if needed.
The main focus of the law is to permit health care providers to prescribe Naloxone to people at risk of overdose, issue a standing order for the use of Naloxone, and protect all engaged parties from civil or criminal action under Good Samaritan laws.
This is not a license to use drugs, as many opponents see it, but a way to save lives and protect first responders.
With the rise in heroin and opioid use in the United States, accidental overdose is a major concern, and this Bill addresses that issue. More than a dozen states are already onboard and hopefully more will follow soon.
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