Support SB23 to save heroin users from overdose

  • By MICHELE "STU" MORGAN
  • Friday, October 16, 2015 1:04am
  • Opinion

We all know heroin is killing more of our loved ones. Six people have already died in Juneau this year.

Senator Johnny Ellis of Anchorage and cosponsor, Senator Dennis Egan have a bill, SB 23 that would allow a medication that stops overdoses, Naloxone, to be distributed at pharmacies over the counter and by trained agencies. It has already passed the senate. Please email your house member. Ask them to please support SB23 in it’s entirety .

Other states have already passed the same laws. Those states include Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Naloxone is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids (heroin and other opiate pain killers). It is administered to someone who is experiencing an overdose quite easily by lay people, such as friends and family members. It is safe and doesn’t have any abuse features. It stops the overdose and saves the person’s life.

According to the CDC, from 2003 to 2013 heroin use has increased 286 percent and from 1996-2014, community-based programs reported that 26,463 overdoses were reversed as a result of getting more naloxone kits into the hands of community members. Because friends, family, and other people using are usually the first people to have contact with someone having an opioid overdose- being able to administer naloxone immediately saves lives.

Please email your House Member and share this with others. Let’s stop heroin.

We also have a group forming Juneau-Stop Heroin – Start Talking. We are working with JPD, local businesses and the community as a whole to prevent deaths from heroin, educate the public, and remove stigma to the families allowing healing and understanding.

Michele “Stu” Morgan,

Juneau

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