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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
On Wednesday, the Ohio Senate approved a bill
to provide a drug overdose antidote to friends or family members of addicts
without the risk of prosecution as long as they call 9-1-1 immediately.
The legislation is aimed at reducing the
state's record-high number of fatal overdoses from heroin and
painkillers - which has surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental
death in Ohio.
First responders and police have access to
Naloxone, but many families of drug users say it's not enough.
James Barton died last year from a heroin
overdose. Now, his stepfather is trying to prevent other families from
going through a similar loss.
"It needs to be out there so it can be
used to help people who've done too much," said David Reeves.
It's referred to as Naloxone, Narcan or even
the Second Chance Drug. When injected, it reverses an opioid overdose.
question is with licensed training. Should it be in the hands of an addict's
friend or family? David Reeves says absolutely, because in this area, heroin is
worse than ever.
"I'm actually surprised it's blown up
like it has. Twenty years ago I was an EMT and it was there but you just never
heard anything about it," said Reeves.
Years ago, Reeves worked as a first
responder. He says during that time, all they could do was transport the
overdose victim to the nearest hospital.
"Parents need to be trained how to do
it. These parents know this is the way their kids are and they need every
advantage they can get," said Reeves.
But there are some concerns. Warren County
Prosecutor David Fornshell says he fully supports the end goal to reduce
overdose deaths. He wonders if everyone administering the antidote will
always be medical trained and call 9-1-1 during an overdose.
wonders if more people will abuse the drugs knowing they have a "second
"People that are wanting to push against
it they just need to be put in the position, unfortunately, to see what actually
goes on with this so they can have some first-hand experience on it," said
Similar laws are already in place in other
states including Kentucky.
Reeves says many parents will even drive
across state lines to take the class, get the antidote, just in case their
loved one overdoses.
bill now goes back to the house after changes were made by the Senate.