State Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) today announced the Senate passage of legislation to expand access to life-saving treatment for individuals at risk of opioid related-drug overdoses. 

“House Bill 4 expands access to life-saving medicine for those struggling with addiction,” said Balderson. “Too many lives are lost to overdose in Ohio, and this bill is a step in the right direction to saving family members and friends, and getting them on the right road to recovery.”

Naloxone is a non-addictive, emergency medical treatment used to reverse the potentially fatal effects of an opiate overdose. Substitute House Bill 4 allows physicians to issue protocols for pharmacists and family members to administer the life-saving treatment in the event of an overdose.

The legislation builds on the success of House Bill 170 which passed the General Assembly last year and made naloxone widely available for local first responders. 

If signed into law, local departments of health will be permitted to sell naloxone at wholesale prices to local law enforcement agencies. The legislation also provides protections for individuals that distribute the medication in accordance with established physician protocols.

Substitute House Bill 4 passed the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support and now goes back to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

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