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Pence signs drug overdose intervention legislation

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Gov. Pence signed legislation Friday aimed at helping people who overdose on opioids get help quicker.

Bill SEA 406 allows people to obtain and administer overdose intervention drugs, known as Nalaxone or Narcan, that are currently only available to health professionals.

“With the rise of heroin addiction across our state, this important legislation will make available overdose intervention treatments and will save lives in Indiana,” Pence said in a media release. “Families, friends and loved ones struggling with the scourge of opioid addiction will now have access to life-saving medications that work immediately when administered and will help prevent the heartbreaking loss of life we hear about too often in the case of drug overdoses.”

The bill passed with unanimous and bipartisan support in the Indiana House and Senate.

Officials note that data suggests people whose lives are saved by overdose intervention drugs are more likely to seek treatment for their addiction.

“The signing of this bill will save Hoosier lives,” Dr. Jerome Adams, Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, said. “Many overdoses happen in the presence of others, and readily available naloxone is a proven method for bystanders and loved ones provide rescue assistance.  While we diligently work to make headway on our state and nation’s opioid abuse epidemic, this bill will help keep Hoosiers alive in order to facilitate seeking treatment and again become healthy and productive members of society.”