Rep Sheppard plan expands use of lifesaving opioid antagonists

first_img20Mar Rep. Sheppard plan expands use of life-saving opioid antagonists Categories: Sheppard News Legislation allows libraries to have medication to block overdosesLibraries throughout the state could soon keep life-saving treatments on hand to use in the event of an opioid overdose under a plan sponsored by state Rep. Jason Sheppard. The measure was unanimously approved today by the Michigan House, sending it to the Senate for consideration.Sheppard, of Temperance, said drug overdoses in libraries are a growing problem. Multiple libraries – including branches in Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Muskegon and Kalamazoo – have reported opioid overdoses in recent years.“We don’t think of our public libraries as places where people go to use drugs. Yet, we have learned that many overdoses occur there,” Sheppard said. “Every second matters during an overdose. Having medication on hand that reverses the effect of an overdose could be the difference between life and death.”House Bills 4366-67 would allow libraries and their employees to keep and administer life-saving opioid antagonists in good faith without fear of prosecution or civil liability.“These bills will allow our public librarians – if they choose – to be trained and then prescribed an opioid antagonist to use in the case of an overdose,” Sheppard said. “This simple solution has the potential to help save lives.”Sheppard represents a portion of Monroe County, which has some of the highest drug overdose rates in the state. Since January, the Monroe County Heroin Task Force has recorded 116 overdoses – 18 of them resulting in fatalities.“I have been working with local officials and law enforcement for several years to help reduce these statistics,” Sheppard said. “People are dying at alarming rates. We must do all we can to help residents who are struggling with opioid abuse.”###last_img

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