Ohio Proposal Seeks to Reduce Heroin, Painkiller Overdoses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The availability of a drug overdose antidote being used across the state to save addicts on the brink of death would be expanded under a proposed bill.

The legislation approved unanimously by the Senate Tuesday would let doctors authorize individuals to hand out a drug overdose antidote to addicts, their friends and family members without requiring a prescription.

The bill also would allow pharmacies to distribute the drug naloxone without a prescription as long as a doctor’s rules are followed. The sponsors are Rep. Robert Sprague of Findlay and Rep. Jeff Rezabek from Clayton, a Dayton suburb.

The measure also relaxes how quickly someone administering the drug would have to call 911, saying it should be done “as soon as practical” instead of requiring it immediately before or after.