WASHINGTON. D.C. – Congressman Guinta joined Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) last week in introducing legislation to help prevent prescription drug and heroin overdoses in the United States.
“Heroin and other illicit drugs are now killing more Granite Staters than traffic accidents, bringing into clear focus New Hampshire’s heroin emergency. This is unacceptable, and must be dealt with immediately. I have been working with and speaking to stakeholders on this issue from first responders to mental health and substance abuse counselors - among others - to identify solutions to eliminate this growing problem. This bipartisan bill is one part of an overall strategy to tackle this by providing protection to first responders educated in administering Narcan to reverse the effects of an overdose, saving the lives of countless individuals in the process.
According to the Washington Post, “overdosing is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, accounting for more deaths than traffic fatalities or gun homicides and suicides. Fatal overdoses from opiate medications such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Methadone have quadrupled since 1999, accounting for an estimated 16,651 deaths in 2010.”
However, death from heroin and other opioid drugs may be prevented if the victim is administered an opioid overdose drug, such as Naloxone (also known as Narcan), in a timely manner.
The Opioid Overdose Reduction Act of 2015 would exempt from civil liability emergency administration of opioid overdose-reversing drugs, like Naloxone, by people who prescribe or are prescribed them.