HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Overdose-Prevention Bill Clears Senate
Pubdate: Sun, 11 Mar 2001
Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)
Copyright: 2001 Albuquerque Journal
Contact:  P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103
Website: http://www.abqjournal.com/

OVERDOSE-PREVENTION BILL CLEARS SENATE

SANTA FE      The Senate unanimously approved a proposal Sunday that's 
part of Gov. Gary Johnson's drug overhaul package.

The measure will remove potential legal barriers for people to administer a 
drug that can help prevent deaths from heroin overdoes.

The bill would eliminate civil and criminal liability for an individual who 
administers a drug overdose antidote, such as naloxone, under certain 
conditions. For example, a person could administer the antidote if they 
acted in "good faith" because they thought someone was experiencing a drug 
overdose.

The measure also would allow licensed health care professionals to 
prescribe naloxone without being subject to civil liability or criminal 
prosecution.

"It really will probably save some lives," said Sen. Steve Komadina, 
R-Corrales, who is a physician.

Earlier this year, the Health Department supplied syringes of naloxone, 
which is known by its trade name "narcan," to Espanola Valley doctors, who 
could prescribe the potentially lifesaving drug to addicts or to family 
members worried that an addict was at risk for an overdose. The drug does 
not produce a high or a sense of euphoria.

Rio Arriba County leads New Mexico in per capita drug-related fatalities. 
There were at least 16 drug-overdose deaths last year in the northern New 
Mexico county.

The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, goes 
to the House for consideration.
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