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Health and Medicine

Ohio Republican and Democratic lawmaker team up on heroin treatment
Bill would make Naloxone available to addicts and their famililes; Senate may add rehabilitation provisions

Andy Chow
Michael Stinziano quoting co-sponsor Johnson: "We aren't able to get someone help if they've died."
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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In The Region:

Legislators are working to expand access to a drug that can help save a person’s life in the event of a heroin overdose. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow talked to one lawmaker who says this is just one step in stopping drug abuse.

CHOW: Naloxone bill

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The drug Naloxone can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, similar to the life-saving effects a defibrillator might have on someone suffering from cardiac arrest. Lawmakers are looking over a bill to allow a doctor can decide to give Naloxone to a patient known to have a history of heroin abuse. The drug could also be made available to that person’s family and friends.

Democratic Representative Michael Stinziano of Columbus is co-sponsoring the bill with Republican Representative Terry Johnson from Scioto County. Stinziano says expanding access is a vital component to the state’s overall battle against drug abuse.

“My lead co-sponsor, Dr. Terry Johnson, says ‘We aren’t able to get someone help if they’ve died.’ And so this legislation is going to be about saving lives. And you don’t know which heroin dose is going to be the one that may send you into an overdose state.”

The bill is now in the Senate where Stinziano says members are discussing other possible provisions, such as adding some type of rehab component.

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