Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill to provide a drug overdose antidote to friends or family members of addicts without the risk of prosecution.
The legislation is aimed at reducing the state's record-high number of fatal overdoses from heroin and painkillers, now the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes. The Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee scheduled a possible vote Wednesday on the measure, which would allow licensed prescribers to provide the drug naloxone to an addict's friends or family members. People administering the drug would be immune from prosecution as long as they call 911 immediately before or after giving the antidote and obtained it through proper channels. The bill also makes it easier for police and emergency responders to administer naloxone.