Steps to prevent overdoses

Published 10:06 am Friday, February 27, 2015

More people die each year of accidental overdoses in the state of Ohio than by car crashes.

That’s hundreds of people each year.

The most recently available data according to state health department records, counted 680 Ohioans died from heroin-related drug overdoses in 2012.

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It’s statistics like those why the House of Health and Aging Committee approved a bill that would allow doctors to authorize pharmacies to hand out a drug overdose antidote — naloxone — to addicts, their friends and family members without requiring a prescription.

Naloxone, also called Narcan, blocks the effects of opiate-based drugs and allows overdose victims to quickly be able to breathe again and is not addictive.

The bill also eases the rules on how quickly those family members or friends have to dial 911, saying it should be done “as soon as practical” instead of requiring it immediately before or after.

A bill allowing people other than medical professionals to administer this drug is a huge step toward slashing the statistics that made the bill so necessary in the first place.

Every second counts when it comes to saving someone’s life, no matter the emergency. Allowing people close to those addicted to heroin and painkillers to potentially be able to save his or her loved ones’ lives is the right call.