Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill into law allowing friends or family members of addicts to administer a drug overdose antidote without the fear of prosecution.
The legislation is aimed at reducing the state's record-high number of fatal overdoses from heroin and painkillers - which is now the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes. The bill signed Tuesday allows 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. It also must be obtained through proper channels. In addition, the bill would make it easier for police and emergency responders to administer the drug.