State Senate OKs opioid antagonist measure
Bill would make it more available to public
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/LRC) – The state Senate approved Thursday a measure that could expand options for drug addiction treatment.
On the 11th day of the current legislative session, the Senate passed Senate Bill 56 (SB 56), sponsored by Sen. Donald Douglas, a Nicholasville Republican, to make federally approved ‘opioid antagonist’ drugs more widely available to the public. An opioid antagonist is a drug that can rapidly reverse an overdose and is currently only available to first responders.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, America and Kentucky have suffered an increase in overdose deaths, “Douglas said. “Even though we have faced an opioid epidemic for years, this development still proved shocking.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100,000 Americans died of overdose between April 2020 and April 2021. Kentucky saw a near 50% increase in overdose deaths in that same 12-month period, ranking fourth in the nation. This occurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic when mitigation efforts included the statewide shutdown of businesses, schools and non-essential medical care.
“High-potency synthetic opioids are taking the lives of our neighbors, friends, and loved ones,” Douglas said. “SB 56 is the next step in saving lives and bringing hope to those who are suffering from the scourge of drug abuse.”
SB 56 goes to the state House of Representatives for further consideration.