State Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives concurred on Senate changes to Substitute House Bill 170, legislation that aims to reduce drug-related deaths by reversing the effects of certain drugs on the brain.
Sub. H.B. 170 expands access to naloxone hydrochloride, a medication that is effective at reversing overdoses caused by opioid pain medications and heroin. Naloxone has been used safely by emergency medical professionals for more than 40 years and has no potential for abuse or overdose.
"I am very pleased to see this bill move forward," said Boose. "Expanding access to this life-saving drug will undoubtedly save lives as we continue to fight prescription opioid and heroin addiction in Ohio."
Naloxone is administered intra-nasally and blocks the receptors in the brain that an opiate occupies when a person is taking a prescription opioid or heroin. If an individual who has not been taking an opiate were to take naloxone, it would have no effect.
Drug overdoses in Ohio have increased 440 percent in the past 10 years, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Additionally, 1,765 Ohio residents died of unintentional drug overdoses in 2011, which is the equivalent of five Ohioans dying every day.
Sub. H.B. 170 includes an emergency clause and will take effect immediately after Gov. John Kasich signs it.